Proteomic screening of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) yielded a 58% success rate in protein identification in spite of the fact that no genomic sequence is available for this species. This was achieved by a combination of MALDI-MS/MS de novo sequencing of double-derivatized peptides and indel-tolerant searching against local protein databases built on both EST and full-length nucleotide sequences. The amino acid sequence of a strawberry allergen, homologous to the well-known major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1, was partially determined. This strawberry allergen, named Fra a 1 according to the nomenclature for allergen proteins, showed sequence identity of 54 and 77%, respectively, with corresponding allergens from birch and apple. Differential expression, as evaluated by 2-D DIGE, occurred in 10% of protein spots when red strawberries were compared to a colorless (white) strawberry mutant. White strawberries, known to be tolerated by individuals affected by allergy, were found to be virtually free from the strawberry allergen. Also several enzymes in the pathway for biosynthesis of flavonoids, to which the red color pelargonidin belongs, were down-regulated. This approach to assess differential protein expression without access to genomic sequence information can also be applied to other crop plants and phenotypic traits.