G. Marzban, F. Maghuly , M. Laimer , W. Hemmer, R. Nestby
Berry fruits rich in phenolic compounds including flavonols, flavones and anthocyanins have recently gained increasing interest due to their possible beneficial effects on human health. However, they are harbouring a series of allergenic proteins that cause discomfort or even represent serious threats to certain individuals (Marzban et al., 2005). The identification and characterization of allergens in fruits like berries from distant taxa, requires novel approaches involving genomic and proteomic tools.
The allergen content of blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), strawberries (Fragaria ananassa), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) and figs (Ficus carica) was analysed. Initially different extraction protocols were established to improve protein detection with polyclonal antisera in Western blotting. Polyclonal antibodies raised against different allergens from Malus domestica were used, which were able to recognize similar epitopes in highly conserved protein families of other plant species. Fruit extracts were analysed by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Using clinical screening tools from a high number of patients delivered conclusively results on allergenic proteins present in the small fruits including figs (Hemmer et al., 2010). Since avoidance of fruits was shown to negatively affect the quality of patients’ lives (Cummings et al., 2010), biotechnological interventions are ongoing to produce low allergenic fruits by down-regulating specific genes. In this respect, the control of proteins associated with allergenicity could be achieved by fine-tuning the spatial and temporal expression of the relevant genes.
Marzban, G., Maghuly , F., Laimer , M., Hemmer, W. and Nestby , R. (2012). ALLERGOMICS OF BERRY FRUITS. Acta Hortic. 926, 663-668
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.926.96
Fragaria, Rubus, Vaccinium, Ficus, Malus, pathogenesis-related proteins

Acta Horticulturae