EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 07 - 2003 Num. article: 2003/106

European tomato isolates belong to a distinct strain of Pepino mosaic potexvirus

In 1999, a new virus disease of tomato was found in protected tomato crops in the Netherlands, and then in other European countries. Preliminary studies revealed the presence of Pepino mosaic potexvirus (PepMV - EPPO Alert List), a virus which was originally described from pepino (Solanum muricatum) in Peru (found in 2 tomato crops in 1974 and then no longer observed). The virus was purified and an antiserum was produced which gave strong reactions with the isolates from tomato and the type isolate from pepino. Various diagnostic tests indicated that PepMV is indeed different from all other potexviruses which have so far been reported from solanaceous crops (i.e. Potato aucuba mosaic virus and Potato virus X). Several isolates of PepMV were studied: the type isolate from pepino in Peru, 3 from tomato collected in the Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom. Serological tests (IEM, DAS-ELISA) could not differentiate between them. Host range and symptomatological studies (mechanical inoculation) showed that PepMV isolates from tomato differed from the pepino isolate. Molecular studies confirmed these differences. It is concluded that indeed Pepino mosaic potexvirus is the causal agent of the new disease observed in tomatoes in Europe, and that European tomato isolates differ from the type strain found on pepino. Therefore, the name tomato strain is proposed.


Van der Vlugt, R.A.A.; Cuperus, C.; Vink, J.; Stijger, I.C.M.M.; Lesemann, D.E.; Verhoeven, J.T.J.; Roenhorst, J.W. (2002) Identification and characterization of Pepino mosaic potexvirus in tomato.
Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, 32(3), 503-508.