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Breeding of hypoallergenic strawberry fruit


BACKGROUND: Allergy to food is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system to normally harmless food ingredients. A promising solution for allergenic patients is the development of hypoallergenic food. OBJECTIVE: Selection and breeding of low-allergenic variety is the conventional strategy to produce hypoallergenic food. The strawberry fruit proteins Fra a 1.01E, Fra a 1.02 and Fra a 1.03 are homologous of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v1 but their individual allergenic potentials are unknown. METHOD: We produced the recombinant Fra a allergens and evaluated their cross allergenic potential in birch pollen allergic patients by a basophil activation test. Anti-Fra a 1.02 antibodies were also used to screen for allergen deficient strawberry lines. RESULTS: Although Fra a 1.01E, Fra a 1.02 and Fra a 1.03 have sequence similarities of 70, 71 and 74% with Bet v 1 Fra a 1.02 showed the highest allergenic potential. The data support the role of Fra a 1.02 as the major allergen for individuals affected by a strawberry allergy. The screening of strawberry varieties detected genotypes with significantly reduced levels of the allergen. CONCLUSION: Genotypes with reduced Fra a 1.02 proteins might serve as starting material for the breeding of hypoallergenic strawberry varieties.