The gene coding for the major birch pollen allergen Betv1, is highly homologous to a pea disease resistance response gene

EMBO J. 1989 Jul;8(7):1935-8. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1989.tb03597.x.


Pollen of the white birch (Betula verrucosa) is one of the main causes of Type I allergic reactions (allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic bronchial asthma) in Middle and Northern Europe, North America and the USSR. Type I allergies are a major threat to public health in these countries, since 10-15% of the population suffer from these diseases. BetvI, an allergenic protein with an Mr of 17 kd is a constituent of the pollen of white birch and is responsible for IgE binding in more than 95% of birch pollen allergic patients. Here, we report the complete nucleotide sequence and deduced amino acid sequence of a cDNA clone coding for the major pollen allergen (BetvI) of white birch. It is similar to the N-terminal peptide sequences of the allergens of hazel, alder and hornbeam (close relatives) but it has no significant sequence homology to any other known allergens. However, it shows 55% sequence identity with a pea disease resistance response gene, indicating that BetvI may be involved in pathogen resistance of pollen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens* / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Fabaceae / genetics
  • Genes*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Pollen*
  • Poly A / genetics
  • Protein Conformation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Trees


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Bet v 1 allergen, Betula
  • Poly A
  • DNA