Tomato Brown Rugose Spreading Globally

Karla Arboleda Tomatoes, Top Posts, VSC Expo

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus is making headlines as it continues to spread around the globe. Below are reports posted to VSCNews in recent months as more about this pathogen has been revealed. One report is from a presentation during the recent Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo. You can view that presentation here.

Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus Spreading Globally

Originally posted Aug. 22, 2019

By Karla Arboleda

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is not currently in Florida produce, but the virus has a global track record.

Detected first in 2015 in Jordan, and with outbreaks as recent as 2018 in California, ToBRFV is easily transmitted through contact. Ozgur Batuman, citrus pathologist at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, spoke about the virus at the recent Vegetable & Specialty Crop Expo. He said tomato growers need to start paying attention to the root of the cause.

“The first thing is that (growers) should be avoiding (ToBRFV) at all costs,” Batuman said. “To do that, they should be paying attention to where they are buying their seeds … They should be virus-free and certified.”

Although the disease is not in Florida, researchers stress its potential negative effects.

“(For) this disease, there is no resistant variety,” Batuman said, adding that varieties currently growing in Florida are resistant to other diseases and closely related to ToBRFV.

Tomato growers in Florida need to diagnose and verify any suspicions regarding ToBRFV with Extension agents. Preventing the disease by removing infected tomato plants and reducing the handling of infected tomato plants is key.

“Once you have these infected seeds planted in your greenhouse or in the field … even if you are not touching, but brushing by infected plants, (ToBRFV) will be everywhere that you’re going to touch,” Batuman said. “Sanitation, sanitation and sanitation.”

As ToBRFV continues to spread, growers are encouraged to monitor the situation closely and take the right procedures. Follow along for more on the virus and check out some recent updates.

FTE: USDA Should Act Quickly to Stop Tomato Disease from Spreading in U.S.:

Virus in Mexican Tomatoes Causing Concern, USDA Action Needed:

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