Chemistry 2

The Glowing Tomato

  1. Glowing Tomato Example
    1. How fireflies make light: Luciferase, an enzyme, catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin. During this process the luciferin gives off light. See this article from ChemMatter 8/95 for more detail.
    2. One of the first experiments which was done in transferring genes from one species to another was the transfer of the gene which produces Luciferase from a firefly into a tomato plant. Imagine that you are chemist working for a company that wants to market this new tomato plant which glows wherever the surface of the plant is damaged. How would you determine if the tomato is safe for people to eat?