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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335332

Title: Breeding versus bioengineering of hypoallergenic peanuts

item OZIAS-AKINS, P - University Of Georgia
item Holbrook, Carl - Corley

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2016
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Citation: Ozias-Akins, P., Holbrook Jr, C.C. 2016. Breeding versus bioengineering of hypoallergenic peanuts. IN: Lee, N.A., Wright, G.C., and Rachaputi, R. (eds.). Peanuts Bioactives and Allergens. DEStech Publications Inc. Pp. 311-329.

Interpretive Summary: Peanuts contain multiple allergenic proteins that may elicit an immune response in ~1% of adults, yet prospects for reducing peanut allergenicity through genetic means are exciting. Genomic tools are enabling rapid discovery of novel spontaneous and induced genetic variation within the cultivated species and its wild relatives. Multiple approaches for bioengineering allergen gene knockdown and knockout have been shown to be feasible in plants. Although the genetic complexity of peanut and allergen gene families provides a challenge for any approach, the final goal of an allergen-free peanut is not intractable.

Technical Abstract: Major allergen proteins in the peanut seed are storage proteins Ara h1, Ara h2, and Ara h3. While these proteins serve a vital function of nutrient reservoir activity in the peanut seed, it may be possible to eliminate some or to alter others to mitigate peanut allergic responses, but with little consequence for the seed due to compensatory mechanisms. Both traditional breeding to access novel alleles and bioengineering to achieve directed changes in specific genes are feasible for altering allergen genes to attain a hypoallergenic peanut. This goal can be facilitated by recent advances in molecular information and technologies, including peanut genome sequence and genome editing tools.