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White-fruited strawberry genotypes are not per se hypoallergenic

Franz-Oberdorf, Katrin, Eberlein, Bernadette, Edelmann, Kathrin, Bleicher, Philip, Kurze, Elisabeth, Helm, Dominic, Olbricht, Klaus, Darsow, Ulf, Ring, Johannes, Schwab, Wilfried
Food research international 2017 v.100 pp. 748-756
Betula, Fragaria ananassa, Western blotting, allergenicity, allergens, anthocyanins, antibodies, basophils, cross reaction, cultivars, enzymes, food safety, fruits, genotype, hypersensitivity, patients, pollen, proteins, ripening, strawberries
The strawberry fruit Fra a 1-proteins are homologues of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and have essential biological functions in pigment formation during fruit ripening. Patients affected by allergy against birch pollen tolerated fruits of a naturally occurring white-fruited F.×ananassa genotype, which showed reduced levels of Fra a 1 proteins along with enzymes of the anthocyanin pigment pathway. We evaluated the cross-reactive allergenic potential of a number of naturally occurring white- and red-fruited strawberry varieties to detect genotypes with low allergenic reactivity, whose fruit might be tolerated by patients with mild allergy. Protein extracts of 51 different strawberry varieties (Fragaria×ananassa, F. vesca, and F. nilgerensis) were screened by Western blot analysis with a polyclonal Fra a 1.02 antibody. Besides, activation of basophils of eight atopic patients allergic to birch pollen were studied using Bet v 1a and different concentrations of 15 selected strawberry protein extracts out of the 51 strawberry genotypes. Median percentages of activated basophils stimulated by extracts from white- and red-fruited genotypes ranged from 36 to 84% and 44 to 76%, respectively indicating that white-fruited strawberry are not per se hypoallergenic. Protein extracts from white-fruited F. vesca cv. Yellow Wonder showed the lowest cross-reactivity but high biological variability. The knowledge about the allergenic potential of different strawberry genotypes may help to improve food safety and can serve as starting point for the development of red-fruited hypoallergenic strawberry cultivars.