Phototrophs vs Chemotrophs: Difference and Comparison

Both organisms are well known as they have been part of science. Some are capable of making their food, and some are not capable of making their food.

Key Takeaways

  1. Phototrophs are organisms that derive energy from sunlight, while chemotrophs obtain energy from chemical reactions.
  2. Photosynthesis is the primary mode of energy production for phototrophs, while chemotrophs rely on cellular respiration or fermentation.
  3. Phototrophs are found in environments with ample sunlight, such as on the ocean’s surface. In contrast, chemotrophs are found in environments with abundant chemical energy, such as deep-sea vents.

Phototrophs vs Chemotrophs

The difference between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs is Phototrophs consume sunlight as the source of energy to undergo photosynthesis, but Chemotrophs use chemical reactions and undergo chemosynthesis to get energy. Chemotrophs do not use sunlight to undergo chemosynthesis. Chemotrophs use energy from the oxidation of carbon compounds. Phototrophs consume sunlight and turn it into chemical energy.

Phototrophs vs Chemotrophs

Phototrophs are the organism whose source of energy is sunlight. They consume the light of the sunlight as energy and convert it into chemical energy.

Chemotrophs are organisms whose source of energy is the oxidation of carbon dioxide. They undergo chemosynthesis.


Science Quiz

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Balloons are filled with

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What is the scientific name of humans?

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Which of the following compound is mainly used in hand sanitizer?

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What is the function of root hair cells?

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A bond that occurs between metals and nonmetals is called a/an _______________.

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The filament of an electric bulb is made of

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An atom is considered to be ____________ when the number of protons and electrons are equal.

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The 'photo' in photosynthesis means to do with...

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Which among the following is not a synthetic fiber?

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Chemical formula for water is

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPhototrophsChemotrophs
Energylight energyOxidizing electron donors energy
SourceSunlightChemical compounds
DivisionsPhotoautotrophs and PhotoheterotrophsChemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs
ExampleGreen plantsNitrosomonas

What are Phototrophs?

Phototrophs are organisms that take their energy from the sun. They consume the light from the sun and then turn the energy into chemical energy.

They have two groups in which the classification of Phototrophs is done. The Phototrophs are classified into Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs.

They do not use carbon dioxide but other organic compounds through which they can take carbon dioxide for their food.

The two classifications are different in their process, in which the consumption of carbon dioxide is different, which means the source is different.


What are Chemotrophs?

The carbon compounds are oxidized, and then it is consumed by the organism to initiate and complete the metabolic activities in the body.

The inorganic compounds are oxidized and turned into organic compounds. Sulfur-oxidizing proteobacteria are some examples of Chemotrophs.

Chemoheterotrophs cannot consume carbon by oxidizing inorganic compounds. The inorganic compound is of no use to the Chemoautotrophs.

These organisms consume energy through the oxidation of electron donors. They cannot consume light from the sun for their energy.


Main Differences Between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs

  1. Phototrophs have two divisions, as Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs, but Chemotrophs have two divisions, as Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs.
  2. Green plants are phototrophs, but Nitrosomonas are chemotrophs.
Difference Between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs

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