Crop Protection Disease Peppers Tomatoes

Be Aware and Prepare: New Potential Pest Threat to Tomatoes and Peppers

There’s buzz around the world about a new virus that has emerged in several countries. Lucky for us, it is NOT yet found in Canada. So we have an opportunity to beef up our biosecurity and be on the lookout for this nasty virus. Here’s some information that can help your preparedness.

The culprit: Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV)

Locations: Germany, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, USA (California)

Hosts: Tomato and pepper are the main hosts

Symptoms of emerging viruses in tomato plants. A, Necrotic spots at the leaflet base induced by Tomato torrado virus; B, leaf deformation, yellowing, and stunting induced by Tomato yellow leaf curl virus; C, fruit marbling induced by Pepino mosaic virus; D, chlorotic rings and line patterns on leaves induced by Pelargonium zonate spot virus; E, fruit necrosis induced by Tomato marchitez virus; F, interveinal leaf chlorosis induced by Tomato chlorosis virus; G, necrotic leaf spots induced by Tomato necrotic spot virus. Pictures E and G are kindly provided by P. Maris (De Ruiter Seeds, Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands) and R. Gilbertson (University of California, U.S.A.), respectively.

Symptoms: As with many viruses, symptoms can vary, but include the following:
– Chlorosis, mosaic and mottling and occasionally narrowing of leaves
– Necrotic spots on peduncles, calyces and petioles
– Yellow or brown spots on fruit
– Deformed or irregular fruit
– Green stripes (on pepper fruit)

Management: This type of virus is very stable and survives for long periods of time on surfaces. Practice strict sanitation and disinfection of workers clothing, equipment, tools, etc. Conduct thorough and frequent scouting of your crop to identify early infections.

Key message: BIOSECURITY is your main defense as prevention is key.

Here are some additional resources for more information:
EPPO Alert
California Pest Rating
CFIA’s Farm-Level Biosecurity Guide

This virus does appear to be more damaging in protected agriculture systems than in field production. Other hosts include tobacco, petunias,
some related weed species and potentially eggplants.

If you see symptoms similar to what is listed above or suspect a viral infection in your crop, contact Amanda Tracey at

Original post by Cara McCreary, Greenhouse Vegetable IPM Specialist can be found at ONgreenhousevegetables.

Figure Reference:
Hanssen, Inge & Lapidot, Moshe & Thomma, Bart. (2010). Emerging Viral Diseases of Tomato Crops. Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI. 23. 539-48. 10.1094/MPMI-23-5-0539.

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