sapro-, sapr-, sap- +
(Greek: rotten, putrid, putrefaction, decay; poisoning from bacterial action)
2. An organism that obtains its nutrients from non-living organic matter, usually dead and decaying plant or animal matter, by absorbing soluble organic compounds.
Since saprotrophs cannot make food for themselves, they are considered a type of heterotroph.
The term heterotroph, which is used in the definition above, refers to an organism that is unable to synthesize nutrients from inorganic compounds and therefore is dependent on complex organic molecules from external sources for growth.
The terms saprophyte, saprobe, and saprozoite denote saprotrophic plants, microbes and fungi, and animals respectively; but the boundaries are blurred in actual usage, with saprophyte being more widespread and traditional than the others.
2. Of or relating to a saprozoite.
3. Designating the type of nutrition employed by a saprozoite.
Describing an organism that feeds on organic material in solution, rather than on solid organic material.
2. An animal; such as, a protozoan, that absorbs nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter; an animal saprotroph.
3. A reference to an animal feeding on decaying plant or animal matter in the form of dissolved organic compounds.
- Botulism, a paralytic, often fatal illness, caused by ingestion of food contaminated with a preformed toxin.
- Coccidioidomycosis, an infection which is limited to the lungs and caused by inhalation of spores.
- Ascariasis, infestation of the gastrointestinal tract that may produce diarrhea and anorexia.
- Tungiasis, a disease caused by the chigoe flea, the female of which penetrates the human skin, often under the toenail, where she becomes greatly distended with eggs, causing a painful ulcer and inflammation.
2. Feeding on liquid secretions of other animals.