Tobacco Mosaic Virus in Tomato

Tobacco mosaic virus in tomato

Tobacco mosaic virus in tomato

This is the most common tomato virus infection. This virus can affect both crop tomatoes, greenhouse or solarium tomatoes and it always lowers the quality and quantity of the production.

Symptoms

This disease has various symptoms and these differ depending of the virus strain, the tomato specie, the vegetation phase, and last, but not least, on the environment. The attack patterns for this disease are: common mosaic, strike mosaic, deformed tomatoes and brown insides of the fruits.

The common mosaic is the most common attack of this disease. This affects greenhouse and crop tomatoes. Most of the times, the plants that have been affected by this form of the disease remain small (have a slowed growing rhythm) and their leaves have a mosaic aspect (green to yellow stains, that are diffuse and that alternate with the healthy, green tissue).

The leaf limb of the affected plants is slightly wrinkled, shrunk and with an irregular shape.

The tomato strike is a very frequent and harmful form of this disease. This can be seen on the stems, leaves, petioles and fruits. Brown and deepened strikes emerge on the stems and petioles, whereas on the leaves and fruits these stains are either circular or irregular.

As a result of the attack, the leaves, stems and fruits are heavily deformed and the harvest is compromised. The tomatoes that have grown from young leaves are deformed, as the leaflets are visibly deformed.

The brown tomato insides is visible on green tomatoes or on the ones that have just started ripening. The leaves of the affected plants don’t have visible symptoms on the outside, but if these are sectioned, it can be clearly seen that the conducting veins are brown.

Tobacco mosaic virus - tomato

Pathogen:

The Tobacco mosaic virus reaches the tomatoes through infected seeds, or through the vegetal residues of the infected plants.

This virus is very resilient when it comes to dryness, as it can keep its germination properties even after 20 years. This virus can also survive on the dust and debris from the greenhouse structure. If this virus has already affected other crops (tobacco, peppers, etc), it can rapidly reach the tomato plants. During the vegetation period, this virus spreads through the mechanical contact between plants, through the clothes and hands of the crop workers, through the tools used.

Prevention and control

We recommend planting resilient tomato species and hybrids, having a thermal disinfection applied to the soil from the greenhouses and seedbeds, disinfecting the tools used, harvesting the tomato seeds only from healthy tomato plants and taking out any seedlings which are considered suspicious.

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