Tomato fruits may be a pathway for Tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus
Tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus (TYLCV – EPPO A2 list) was initially found in eastern Mediterranean areas and it then spread to many different parts of the world. At present, in Europe, phytosanitary measures designed to prevent its further spread are focused on vegetative plant parts and more particularly on imported tomato seedlings produced in nurseries in countries where TYLCV occurs. No measures are required for imports of tomato fruits. However, a survey conducted by the French NPPO in 2000 showed that 50% of tomato fruits imported into France from Mediterranean countries were infected by TYLCV. Studies were done on Réunion to verify whether tomato fruits could act as a reservoir of TYLCV from which Bemisia tabaci would be able to acquire and spread the virus. In 2002, the presence of TYLCV in tomato fruits imported into Réunion from infested Mediterranean countries was tested (using DNA dot-blot analysis) and transmission studies with B. tabaci were made in the laboratory. Results showed that TYLCV was present in 57% of imported tomato fruits, and that it was present with a high titre. Transmission studies showed that B. tabaci could survive more than 12 h on the fruits (but 100 % mortality was reached after 48 h) and that it could acquire and transmit TYLCV to healthy tomato plants. Although these studies remain preliminary, they showed that tomato fruits may be a pathway for spreading TYLCV. This potential risk needs to be further assessed, but in the meantime it could be recommended to avoid dumping unmarketable infected fruits near tomato crops.
Delatte, H.; Dalmon, A.; Rist, D.; Soustrade, I.; Wuster, G.; Lett, J.M.; Goldbach, R.W.; Peterschmitt, M.; Reynaud, B. (2003) Tomato yellow leaf curl virus can be acquired and transmitted by Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) from tomato fruit.
Plant Disease, 87(11), 1297-1300.