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Fungi are unlikely to be phototrophs. All of the types I can think of obtain their energy by breaking down other organic material. That would make them chemoorganoheterotrophs.

fungi are heterotrophs that feed by absorption

(campbell & reece, 2005) Kelkhara 17:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Besides that, higher plants are not mentioned at all in the first sentence. With "fungi" the author probably refers to lichens (mentioned later in the paragraph). But the phototrophic components of lichens are not always cyanobacteria, but (most often) algae. Anyway the fungal component is not phototrophic on its own. Lichens are photobionts through the symbiont algae or cyanobacteria (though the cyanobacteria can be endosymbionts). I suggest some rewriting here.

And by the way, the first sentence, with all its errors, is exactly the same as the definition in, so it looks like the first and last part of the paragraph have different authors. Is copy and paste work?

(any modern schoolbook on botany has it right) [] 13 November 2006


Currently this article deals with photosynthetic organisms but there's already one dedicated to photosynthesis. This article should be merged with photoheterotroph for a better treatment of the different biological methods of harvesting solar energy, i.e. photosynthesis and bacteriorhodopsins. Bendž|Ť 13:59, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

No, what this article needs is language that describes what's common between photoautotrophy and photoheterotrophy. Each of those deserves its own article, and phototrophy is not synonymous with either. The problem with this article now is that, yes, it replicates content in both auto ands hetero articles, without showing what's different and what's the same between those two. A merge is not the solution: the solution is to write a whole new phototrophy article that is actually about phototrophy in the aggregate. 18:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree - photoautotrophs come under the category of autotrophs, while photoheterotrophs are a type of heterotroph, 2 distinct things. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a links table on the right-hand side of the page which gives links to autotrophs, chemoautotrophs, heterotrophs, photoheterotrophs and chemoheterotrophs to make the relationship between these 6 pages clearer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 15 March 2008 (UTC)


Phototrophy is obtaining cellular/metabolic energy from light. Photosynthesis is creating hydrocarbons from either atmospheric CO2 or dissolved bicarbonate - i.e. engage in carbon fixation.

Trophy = obtaining energy Synthesis = make something

All known photosynthesizers are phototrophs. Not all phototrophs are photosynthesizers (e.g. Archaea which can use bacteriorhodopsin to capture light and use the energy to establish a proton gradient, which in turn allows them to move. They however are not known to "fix" carbon).

Additionally growth toward or away from sunlight is not called "trophy". That's being phototactic

I'll make changes to the article shortly... Pagelm (talk) 21:18, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

expanded terms[edit]

it's getting to the point where this article should maybe be scrapped and started again from scratch. In any case, it may be helpful to define or clarify more terms.

For example, most heterotrophs are chemoorganoheterotrophs. But yes, there are photoorganoheterotrophs and photomixotrophs [can grow either a) autotrophically or b) "eating" and incorporating small organic molecules from their outside environment].

Further complicating matters is the phototrophs can be divided into the chlorophototrophs and opsin(?)phototrophs (which as mentioned are not autotrophic). Some of the chlorophototrophs are hetero or mixos, as stated above. As I'm not feeling particularly literate at the moment, I won't edit the article itself at this time.

Pagelm (talk) 04:09, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Phototroph/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Rated "top" as high school/SAT biology content and general concept of metabolism. - tameeria 05:03, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 05:03, 19 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 02:54, 30 April 2016 (UTC)