Difference Between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs (With Table)

Both the 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. They depend on a different source to get their food. The organisms are divide into two categories as Phototrophs and Chemotrophs. The source of energy is different from each other.

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 the carbon compounds. Phototrophs consume the sunlight and turn it into chemical energy.

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. They undergo photosynthesis. They are capable of transferring carbon to the parts where carbon dioxide is important. They have two categories. They are Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs. Their main source of energy is the light of the sun.

Chemotrophs are organisms whose source of energy is the oxidation of carbon dioxide. They undergo chemosynthesis. They consume carbon dioxide so that they are capable of oxidising other inorganic compounds. They have two categories which include Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs. Chemosynthesis is the metabolism of chemotrophs. The process is divided into how the organism is going to take carbon dioxide, the source of carbon dioxide.

Comparison Table Between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs

Parameters of ComparisonPhototrophsChemotrophs
Energylight energyOxidizing electron donors energy
ProcessPhotosynthesisChemosynthesis
SunlightYesNo
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 consume the energy by doing the process of photosynthesis. They can give carbon dioxide to other compounds in case there is a shortage of carbon dioxide in the process.

They have two groups in which classification of Phototrophs are done. The Phototrophs are classified into Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs. Photoautotrophs are organisms that use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make their food. The organic compounds get a change to metabolic things, which helps in the cellular functions of the organisms.

The other classification is Photoheterotrophs which are the organisms that only use the sunlight to make their food. They do not use carbon dioxide but other organic compounds through which they can take carbon dioxide for their food. They consume the carbon dioxide from non-sulfur bacteria and green non-sulfur bacteria.

The source of their energy is sunlight and uses the carbon dioxide from the organic compounds. The two classifications are different with their process in which the consumption of carbon dioxide is different, which means the source is different. They do use sunlight in both the process.

What are Chemotrophs?

Chemotrophs are also one type of organism that consumes the energy from the carbon compounds. The carbon compounds are oxidized then it is consumed by the organism to initiate and complete the metabolic activities in their body. The organisms break the carbon dioxide by chemosynthesis. They do not use the sun as the source of light.

The inorganic compounds are oxidized and turned into organic compounds. Sulfur oxidizing proteobacteria are some examples of Chemotrophs. They are classified into two categories like Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs. Chemoautotrophs can make their food through Chemosynthesis, but Chemoheterotrophs cannot oxidize the carbon in organic compounds. They have different habitats where they can be found.

Chemoheterotrophs cannot consume the carbon by oxidizing the inorganic compounds. The inorganic compound is of no use to the Chemoautotrophs. They only need organic compounds to consume energy. They consume the organic compounds from other organisms like carbohydrates and proteins.

These organisms consume energy through the oxidation of electron donors. They cannot consume light from the sun for their energy. Organic compounds are the only source through which they can take energy and carbon. Fungi and bacteria are chemoheterotrophs. Iron bacteria is one of the examples of chemoautotrophs.

Main Differences Between Phototrophs and Chemotrophs

  1. Phototrophs use light energy, and Chemotrophs get energy by oxidizing electron donors.
  2. Phototrophs perform photosynthesis, but Chemotrophs perform chemosynthesis.
  3. Phototrophs use sunlight, but Chemotrophs do not use sunlight.
  4. Phototroph’s source is sunlight, but the source of chemotrophs is chemical compounds.
  5. Phototrophs have two divisions such as Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs but Chemotrophs have two divisions such as Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs.
  6. Green plants are phototrophs, but Nitrosomonas are chemotrophs.

Conclusion

Photoautotrophs are organisms that use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make their food. They consume the energy by doing the process of photosynthesis. The organic compounds get a change to metabolic things, which helps in the cellular functions of the organisms. Phototrophs use sunlight, but Chemotrophs do not use sunlight.

The two classifications are different in their process in which the consumption of carbon dioxide is different. They have two groups in which classification of Phototrophs are done. The Phototrophs are classified into Photoautotrophs and Photoheterotrophs. Phototrophs have two divisions such as Photoautotroph and Photoheterotrophs but Chemotrophs have two divisions such as Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs.

Chemotrophs cannot consume light from the sun for their energy. The carbon compounds are oxidized then it is consumed by the organisms to initiate and complete the metabolic activities in their body. They are classified into two categories like Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs. Chemotrophs perform chemosynthesis.

Organic compounds are the only source through which they can take energy and carbon. Fungi and bacteria are chemoheterotrophs. Chemotrophs have two divisions as Chemoautotrophs and Chemoheterotrophs. Chemoheterotrophs cannot oxidize the carbon in organic compounds. They have different habitats where they can be found.

References

  1. https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.4319/lo.1997.42.1.0198
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519319300542
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