Biology 2483A Lecture Notes - C4 Carbon Fixation, Light-Independent Reactions, Photorespiration

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Autotrophs are organisms that assimilate radiant energy from sunlight (photosynthesis) or from inorganic compounds in their environment (chemosynthesis). The energy is converted into chemical energy stored in the carbon-carbon bonds of organic molecules. Heterotrophs are organisms that obtain their energy by consuming organic compounds made from other organisms. This energy originated with organic compounds synthesized by autotrophs. Some heterotrophs consume non- living organic matter (detritovores). Parasites and herbivores are heterotrophs that consume live hosts, but do not necessarily kill them. Predators are heterotrophs that capture and consume live prey animals. Some plants are holoparasites, which means they have no photosynthetic pigments (like chlorophyll) and they get energy by parasitizing other plants. Dodder is a holoparasite that is an agricultural pest and can significantly reduce biomass in the host plant. Dodder attaches to its host plant by growing in spirals around the stem and it penetrates the phloem to take up carbohydrates. Increased dodder biomass results in decreased host biomass.

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