The paper "Biological and Mathematical Models for Glutamate Metabolism in Tomatoes" is an engrossing example of a term paper on biology. Fruit or vegetable? - Botanically, a tomato is the ovary, together with its seeds, of a flowering plant. Lycopene, one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, is present in tomatoes, and especially when tomatoes are cooked, it has been found to benefit the heart among other things. We begin with a brief description of evolutionary features of glutamate in the world of molecular biology, its properties, and functions, and its role in the metabolism of tomatoes, biochemical approaches and the analysis of intermediates in naturally occurring mutants, especially the tomato.
The properties of glutamate and its model and structure give us a reasonable knowledge of the metabolism of the glutamate in the ripening process of the fleshy fruits, especially the tomatoes and the reactive features of glutamate that account for its determinant role in metabolism and possibly its abundance in nature. The development and maturation of tomato fruits have received considerable attention because of both the uniqueness of such processes to the biology of plants and the importance of these fruits as a component of the human diet.
Molecular and genetic analysis of fruit development, and especially ripening of fleshy fruits, has resulted in significant gains in knowledge over recent years. A large amount of knowledge has been gathered on ethylene biosynthesis and response, cell wall metabolism, and environmental factors, such as light, that impact ripening. Considerably less attention has been paid directly to the general metabolic shifts that underpin these responses. Given the vast complexity of fruit metabolism, the focus chosen for this review is on primary metabolites and those secondary metabolites that are important with respect to fruit quality.
Here, recent advances in dissecting tomato metabolic pathways are reviewed. Also discussed are recent examples in which the combined application of metabolic and transcriptional profiling, aimed at identifying candidate genes for modifying metabolite contents, was used. PROPERTIES OF GLUTAMATE The abundance of glutamate might be examined by considering the features and patterns of reactivity of the glutamate molecule; this can be approached by examining four of the contexts in which the properties of glutamate itself have proven consequential. The exercise might also be worthwhile because these properties were underrepresented at the earlier international symposium on glutamate (Filer et al.
1979 ). We begin with some comments on the overall structural motif in which the "entire molecule, "so to speak, participates in its unique function, and then we will consider the biochemical/chemical reactivity of specific positions within the glutamate molecule.