Word of the Day: Saprophyte

A saprophyte is an organism that feeds off of dead or decomposing matter. This is the typical life cycle for fungi although there are bacteria that do this as well. Plants were once thought to be capable of this behavior, but have now been reclassified as myco-heterotrophic. Myco-heterotrophic means that the plant forms a symbiotic relationship with fungi to get some of it’s nutrition. The rest of the plant’s nutrition comes from the typical route – photosynthesis.