Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Felipe Gomez
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_720-2


A heterotroph is any organism that needs organic compounds as a carbon source for the synthesis of its own cellular components. According to their source of energy, organisms can be classified as photoheterotrophs or chemoorganotrophs. Chemoorganotrophs often use reduced organic compounds as a source of both energy and carbon. Mixotrophs using inorganic compounds as an energy source and reduced organic compounds as a carbon source are an exception.

See Also


Carbon Source Organic Compound Energy Source Bioorganic Chemistry Cellular Component 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC/INTA)Instituto Nacional de Técnica AeroespacialMadridSpain