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TABLE 1.

Definitions of metabolic strategies to obtain carbon and energya

Metabolic strategyDefinition
Energy source
    PhototrophySeries of processes in which electromagnetic energy is converted to chemical energy
    Chemo-(organo- or
        litho-)trophySeries of processes in which energy is obtained by oxidizing chemical compounds; organisms using inorganic compounds (for example, water, hydrogen, sulfide, or ammonia) for this purpose are called lithotrophs, and others that require organic compounds (e.g., sugars or organic acids) are called organotrophs
Carbon source
    HeterotrophySeries of processes in which organic compounds are used as a carbon source for biosynthesis
    AutotrophySeries of processes (for example, Calvin cycle) in which carbon dioxide and water are synthesized to organic carbon compounds
aAccording to Brock Biology of Microorganisms (42).