EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 07 - 2011 Num. article: 2011/154

First report of a natural infection of glasshouse tomatoes by Potato spindle tuber viroid in the USA

In April 2009, a large number of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) grown in a commercial glasshouse facility near Los Angeles in California (US) displayed symptoms of a virus-like disease. Affected plants showed general plant stunting and foliar symptoms (distortion, chlorosis and scattered necrotic spots, purple discoloration) resulting in a significant yield loss due to reduced fruit size. The disease was also observed in neighbouring greenhouses by the spring of 2010. Laboratory studies (RT-PCR, sequencing, inoculation to tomato plants cv. ‘Moneymaker’) confirmed the presence of Potato spindle tuber viroid (Pospiviroid, PSTVd - EPPO A2 List) in affected plants. According to the authors, this is the first time that a natural PSTVd infection is reported on tomatoes in the USA. The source of this infection remains unknown but it is hypothetized that the viroid may have been introduced from infected potato or ornamental plants or though infected tomato seeds.


Ling KS, Sfetcu D (2010) First report of natural infection of greenhouse tomatoes by Potato spindle tuber viroid in the United States. Plant Disease 94(11), 1376-1376.