AskDefine | Define biosynthesis

Dictionary Definition

biosynthesis n : production of a chemical compound by a living organism [syn: biogenesis]

User Contributed Dictionary



From bio- + synthesis.


  1. In the context of "biochemistry": The synthesis of organic compounds within a living organism, especially the synthesis of large compounds from small ones.

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Extensive Definition

Biosynthesis is a phenomenon wherein chemical compounds are produced from simpler reagents. Biosynthesis, unlike chemosynthesis, takes place within living organisms and is generally catalyzed by enzymes. The process is a vital part of metabolism.
The prerequisites for biosynthesis are:
  • Precursor substances
  • Energy (usually in the form of ATP).
Often required components include:
  • Catalysts, usually enzymes
  • Reduction equivalents (in the form of NADH, NADPH, and others).
Important and commonly-known products of biosynthesis include proteins, vitamins, and antibiotics, but all components of living beings are a result of this process. In the near future, it may be possible, with the help of biotechnology, to harness this process for the production of biodegradable plastics.
biosynthesis in Czech: Biosyntéza
biosynthesis in German: Biosynthese
biosynthesis in Spanish: Biosíntesis
biosynthesis in Italian: Biosintesi
biosynthesis in Malay (macrolanguage): Biosintesis
biosynthesis in Japanese: 生合成
biosynthesis in Polish: Biosynteza
biosynthesis in Pushto: ژواکي جوړښتن
biosynthesis in Portuguese: Biossíntese
biosynthesis in Thai: ชีวสังเคราะห์
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