tropho-, troph-, -trophy, -trophs, -trophically, -trophic, -trophous

(Greek: food, nutrition, nourishment; development)

Don't confuse this tropho-, -trophy element with tropo-, meaning "turn, turning," etc.

atrophous (adjective)
Characterized by deterioration or wasting away; especially, of body tissue, an organ, etc.
atrophy (s) (noun), atrophies (pl)
A wasting away; especially, of body tissue, an organ, etc., or the failure of an organ or part of it to grow or develop, as a result of insufficient nutrition or because of a disease: Many people suffer from atrophies of tissues, body organs, or the entire body because of a reduction in the sizes or numbers of their cells.

Atrophy is commonly caused by the lack of use; such as when a limb (arm, hand, etc.) has been immobilized in a plaster cast or by inadequate cell nutrition because of poor blood circulation.

Physicians are aware that atrophy may also take place during a prolonged serious illness, when the body needs to use up the protein reserves in the muscles.

Wasting away because of not being used.
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Wasting away because of not being used.
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atrophy (verb), atrophies; atrophied; atrophying
1. To waste away as a result of the degeneration of body cells: Without adequate exercise, the muscles will atrophy regardless of one's age.

Simon significantly atrophied during his bedridden illness.

Many elderly people have "sarcopenia", when the muscles are atrophying, because either they don't exercise at all or not adequately. People are never too old to exercise!

2. The degeneration, decline, or decrease, because of the lack of using something: Dr. Hughes, the professor, argued that freedom and independence of thought were progressively atrophying because too many people were simply ignoring their political rights.
autotroph (s) (noun), autotrophs (pl)
1. An organism capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances, using light or chemical energy: "Green plants, algae, and certain bacteria are autotrophs."
2. Any organism capable of self-nourishment by using inorganic materials as a source of nutrients and using photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as a source of energy, as most plants and certain kinds of bacteria: "An autotroph is an organism that produces organic compounds from carbon dioxide as a carbon source, using either light or reactions of inorganic chemical compounds as a source of energy."

"Autotrophs are a vital part of the world's food chain because they take energy from the sun or from inorganic sources and convert them into a form (organic molecules) that they use to carry out biological functions including cell growth, and which other organisms (called heterotrophs) utilize as food."

"Carnivorous animals ultimately rely on autotrophs because the energy and organic building blocks obtained from their prey comes from autotrophs which were eaten by the prey."

—Compiled from information located in
Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology by James D. Mauseth;
Jones and Bartlett Publishers; Sudbury, Massachusetts; 2008; page 252.
autotrophic (adjective)
1. Capable of synthesizing complex organic substances from simple inorganic substrates; including both the chemoautotrophic and the photoautotrophic organisms.
2. A reference to any organism for which environmental carbon dioxide is the only or main source of carbon in the synthesis of organic compounds by photosynthesis.
autotrophic lake (s) (noun), autotrophic lakes (pl)
A lake in which all or most of the organic matter present is derived from within the lake and not from drainage off the surrounding land.
autotrophically (adverb)
1. Of or relating to organisms; such as, green plants that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis.
2. Needing only carbon dioxide or carbonates as a source of carbon and a simple inorganic nitrogen compound for metabolic synthesis>
3. Not requiring a specified exogenous factor for normal metabolism.
4. Self-nourishing; the ability of an organism to produce food from inorganic compounds.
autotrophy (s) (noun), autotrophies (pl)
A situation when self-sustaining organisms (green plants, algae, and certain bacteria) are able to produce food from inorganic compounds:
  • Carbon autotrophy, ability to assimilate carbon dioxide from the air.
  • Nitrogen autotrophy, ability to assimilate nitrate or to do nitrogen fixation.
  • Sulfur autotrophy, ability to assimilate sulfate.
auxotroph (s) (noun), auxotrophs (pl)
1. A microorganism that requires nutrients from its environment in order to exist; for example, a mutant strain of an organism, e.g. a bacterium, that has lost the ability to synthesize a specific nutrient growth factor and must obtain it from its environment to survive.
2. A mutant organism, especially a microorganism, that has a nutritional requirement not shared by the parent organism.
3. A mutant microorganism that requires some nutrient that is not required by the organism (prototroph) from which the mutant was derived.
auxotrophic (adjective)
1. A reference to a microorganism having a biochemical deficiency and requiring supplementary growth factors not needed by the wild type.
2. Requiring one or more specific substances for growth and metabolism that the parental organism was able to synthesize on its own. Used with respect to organisms; such as, strains of bacteria, algae, or fungi, that can no longer synthesize certain growth factors because of mutational changes.
auxotrophy (s) (noun), auxotrophies (pl)
Requiring a specific growth substance beyond the minimum required for normal metabolism and reproduction by the parental or wild-type strain; such as, mutants of bacteria.
chemoautotrophic (adjective)
A reference to an organism that produces its own food using inorganic materials and chemosynthesis; such as, certain bacteria.
chemoheterotroph (s) (noun), chemoheterotrophs (pl)
An organism that obtains carbon from organic compunds but obtains energy from the oxidation of inorganic compounds: "An organism that obtains carbon from organic compounds but obtains energy from light is known as a photoheterotroph; while an organism which obtains carbon from organic compunds but obtains energy from the oxidation of inorganic compounds, is referred to as a chemoheterotroph."
chemolithoautotroph (s) (noun), chemolithoautotrophs (pl)
Bacteria that utilize the oxidation of inorganic compounds; such as, hydrogen sulfide or ferrous iron as an energy source.
chemolithotrophic (adjective)
A reference to organisms that obtain energy from oxidation/reduction reactions and use inorganic electron donors.

Cross references of word families that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "food, nutrition, nourishment": alimento-; broma-; carno-; cibo-; esculent-; sitio-; Eating Crawling Snacks; Eating: Carnivorous-Plant "Pets"; Eating: Folivory or Leaf Eaters; Eating: Omnivorous.