Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon


share icon
share icon

What are Chemoautotrophs?

MVSAT 2024

Our surroundings are full of energy where one gains and the other loses, or it might be converted from one form to another. Here is one such example of Chemotrophs. Usually, the name goes quite offbeat that one would naturally feel what is Chemoautrophs. These are the organisms that gain energy after electrons oxidise in their surroundings. These are basically categorised as organic and inorganic molecules or organisms. There is an energy path in organic cellular electron transfer reactions. One is an acceptor of electron energy, and another is the donor. However, the energy is trapped in such a way that it is useful for cells in future times. These are categorised as producers. 

[Image will be uploaded soon]

What is Chemoautroph?

According to biology, Chemoautroph is the cell that uses some inorganic or organic materials to produce energy and trap in between the pathway. These do not intake food to prepare and release energy but are autotrophs using inorganic or organic chemicals. 

An autotroph is a Greek word where auto means self, and “Troph” defines to eat or feed. These organisms prepare their food, including sugar, lipids, proteins and other basic building components for a body. These organisms derive energy by feeding on the chemicals such as electrons donors. Some such examples of good energy donors are sulphur, iron, hydrogen, and sulphides. 

What is Chemoautotrophic Bacteria?

Bacteria that get energy from oxidising compounds are Chemoautotrophic Bacteria. Such bacteria’s basic function is to break the chemical bond of the compounds that do not have carbon content to derive energy. 

The very basic examples of Chemoautotrophic bacteria include ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, and iron. One common example is Thiothrix bacteria which breaks hydrogen sulphide into sulphur and water content. These are two basic requirements to produce energy in the body. Thus, the energy stored in hydrogen and sulphur strong bonds to form hydrogen sulphide is released for future use and basic cell functioning.

What Does Chemoautotroph Mean to You?

Chemoautotrophs are the cells that prepare their energy for use. They do not feed on other molecules or substances to gain energy, rather derive and form their own. The energy that they gain is the result of chemical reactions that occur inside the cells. 

The basic chemoautotrophs known to date include chemolithoautotrophs that emphasise inorganic energy sources. To date, all the known chemoautotrophs are either bacteria or Archaea. These are prokaryotic organisms. 

What is Auto Chemoautrophic Nutrition?

As the word has auto as its prefix, it means self-producing. They do not feed on other organisms to derive energy for living rather prepare food by carrying out certain chemical reactions. The word Chemoautotrophic nutrition means energy produced with chemical reactions taking place. 

The primary work is of inorganic compounds used to synthesise different organic compounds with carbon content. Hence, as a result, you will get carbon dioxide formation after the final utilisation of energy produced with chemical reactions taking place within a cell. 

What is Chemoautotrophs in Biology?

An organism might consume other organisms, or it might prepare its energy food to support its living. Usually, such organisms are bacteria (prokaryotes) that do not rely on others for food and energy. In Biology, Chemoautotrophs are those which need both organic and inorganic compounds to conduct various chemical reactions. Also, they might feed on other organisms to support them. 

In the ecosystem, these organisms play a vital role to maintain a food chain. In the food pyramid of Biology, there are producers of food. These organisms prepare energy and become food for others. But as we keep moving to the higher level or pyramid, we will find chemoheterotrophs among them. These animals feed on the lower level producers to support their living. Thus, all the animals and other living species, say herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, are dependent upon producers and known as chemoheterotrophs. Now coming to the basic functioning of Chemoautrophs, life can only exist where sunlight is not a basic source of energy. 

These are basics for maintaining a sea ecosystem, mainly for those organisms which do not have sunlight exposure, especially those hydrothermal vents.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Chemotrophs

1. Where are Chemoautrophs Found?

Ans: Chemoautrophs are mainly found in underground water sources or surfaces like the seafloor. These are the locations where basic organic materials or chemical food sources are found. Usually, Chemoautrophs are extremophiles that live in deep-sea vents and primary energy and food producers for the sea ecosystem. Also, there is a general grouping for such organisms including sulphur oxidisers, methanogens, nitrifiers, reducers, thermoacidophiles, and anammox bacteria. One such example for nitrogen-fixing bacteria is Cyanobacteria categorised under Chemoautrophs. Chemoautrophs groups usually have single-celled organisms that can live in harsh climatic conditions. These are the earliest discovered organisms under deep-sea vents to carry basic chemical reactions. 

2. What are Different Examples of Chemoautrophs?

Ans: Chemoautrophs are usually present in deep-sea vents where large content is sulphur. Thus these are classified as sulphur-oxidising Chemoautrophs. Bacteria or other prokaryotes living under deep-sea can convert sulphur into sulphates. Further, this sulphate content is used to create carbon content material to provide nourishment. Thus Chemoatutrophs are the basic under sea producers. Another example is nitrogen-fixing bacteria that take nitrogen content from soil to prepare food and derive energy. This energy is further used to convert nitrogen into nitrates. These act as organic food producers to them and the nearby plant species. The primary example for nitrogen-fixing bacteria is Cyanobacteria, but these live in water instead of soil. However, they carry the same properties as producers. However, these are the exceptional types of other nitrogen-fixing bacteria that live on soil.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science