∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.26 ∞

Organism that obtains its energy from light and its carbon from carbon dioxide.

Plants, algae, and cyanobacteria are photoautotrophs.

When we consider photosynthesis, what typically is being described is phototrophic (the light reaction) in combination with the autotrophic fixation of carbon (dark reaction). That is, the photosynthesis displayed by photoautotrophs represnts a generation of organic carbon compounds, starting with CO2 as the source of carbon and as powered by photons.

Note that not all of autotrophs obtain their energy from light (contrast so-called chemoautotrophs), though all autotrophs do fix carbon, and another name for autotrophs is producer.

In addition to photoautotrophs, that is, there are photoheterotrophic bacteria that obtain their energy from light and their by the of other organisms. If the latter seems very complicated, and well outside of our daily experience, that's basically because it is!