Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: auto-

Algae in a Lake
This image shows algae in a lake. Like plants and bacteria, algae are autotrophs. They are capable of self nourishing or generating their own food, typically from sunlight. Credit: Moritz Haisch/EyeEm/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: (auto-)


The prefix (auto-) means self, same, occurring from within, or spontaneous.


Autoantibodies (auto-antibodies) - antibodies produced by an organism that attack the organism's own cells and tissues.

Autocatalysis (auto-catalysis) - catalysis (acceleration of a chemical reaction) caused by one of the products of the reaction acting as a catalyst.

Autochthon (auto-chthon) - refers to the native animals or plants of a region or the earliest known inhabitants of a country.

Autocoid (auto-coid) - a natural internal secretion, such as a hormone, that is produced in one part of the body and affects another part of the organism.

Autogamy (auto-gamy) - self-fertilization, as in the pollination of a flower by its own pollen or the fusion of gametes resulting from the division of a single parent cell that occurs in some fungi and protozoans.

Autogenic (auto-genic) - self-generating or produced from within.

Autoimmunity (auto-immunity) - lack of self recognition of parts within an organism, which allows an immune response against the organism's own cells and tissues.

Autolysis (auto-lysis) - the destruction of a cell by its own enzymes; self-digestion.

Autonomic (auto-nomic) - referring to an internal process that occurs involuntarily or spontaneously.

It also refers to the autonomic nervous system of the peripheral nervous system, which controls involuntary functions.

Autoploid (auto-ploid) - relating to a cell that has two or more copies of a single haploid set of chromosomes.

Autosome (auto-some) - a chromosome that is not a sex chromosome and appears in pairs in somatic cells.

Autotroph (auto-troph) - an organism that is self nourishing or capable of generating its own food.

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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: auto-." ThoughtCo, Dec. 11, 2015, Bailey, Regina. (2015, December 11). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: auto-. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: auto-." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 22, 2018).