Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (TBRFV or ToBRFV), also known as Tomato Rugose Virus, is a disease affecting tomatoes which was first observed in Israel in 2014. The disease has recently spread to Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Spain, as an important tomato producer, has been closely following the news about detections of this virus in other countries. At the end of November 2019, the Andalusian Regional Government’s Plant Health Service reported the detection of ToBRFV in a tomato greenhouse in Vícar (Almeria, Spain).
A virus can cause severe yield losses in tomato cultivation (30 – 70% of the yield). Moreover, given the high persistence and transmissibility of this pathogen, the adoption of preventive methods is currently the best means of controlling the disease.
How to detect TBRFV?
The most characteristic symptom of this disease is the presence of mosaics in the leaves of the plant, usually in the upper leaves of the plant. Yellow spots form and brown rough patches develop on the surface of the infected fruit.
In addition, this disease is usually more likely to occur during extreme temperatures, such as hot periods during the summer or cold periods during the winter.
The most severe symptoms occur in infected plants at younger ages. Tomato variety and growing conditions (temperature and light) also affect the expression of symptoms, as well as fruit load and nutritional status.
Prevention and Analysis of TBRFV
The first thing to note is that no TBRFV resistant varieties of tomatoes have been found. Even varieties with mild symptoms can contain high levels of TBRFV in their tissue and can function as inoculation sources for other pepper and tomato plants.
Efforts to control TBRFV are currently focused on the use of strict sanitation practices. Because the virus spreads easily through hands, clothing, or work tools, workers should be encouraged to implement strict, specific personal hygiene/toilet protocols.
In regard to testing, Laboratorio KUDAM offers a specific test for TBRFV. The ELISA technique is used to detect this pathogen, through which the laboratory can provide reliable and precise results within 2 days.
For more information on the detection and prevention of TBRFV, do not hesitate to contact KUDAM Laboratory.