Details on the situation of Tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus in Réunion
In Réunion, Tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus (EPPO A2 list) was first reported in September 1997 near St. Pierre. The virus was found both in protected and field-grown tomatoes, causing serious epidemics. In 1998, it was considered that eradication was not feasible but control programmes were initiated. Molecular studies of isolates from Réunion suggested that they correspond to a single, recent introduction, from a single origin. Studies on the insect vector, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae - EPPO A2 list), showed that the B biotype predominates on the island but some specimens belonged to another biotype (also present in Madacasgar, Mauritius, Seychelles and called biotype Mascareignes). In 1998/1999, surveys showed that TYLCV was present from La Possession (north) to St Joseph (south), and to Makes towards the centre of the island (900 m altitude). The eastern part of the island was not affected by TYLCV, but it is not a tomato-producing area. No specific studies were done on crop losses, but up to 85% losses were observed on the most susceptible tomato cultivars (e.g. Farmer, Boa). Control measures are being taken to contain both TYLCV and its vector. In nurseries: insect proof screenhouses, yellow sticky traps are used, and planting material is tested. Growers are recommended: not to establish new tomato crops in the vicinity of old plots, to apply weed control, chemical or biological control against B. tabaci and to use more tolerant tomato cultivars. Import checks have been also strengthened to avoid further introductions of infested tomato fruits or plants, and of B. tabaci.
Reynaud, B.; Wuster, G.; Delatte, H.; Soustrade, I.; Lett, J.M.; Gambin, O.; Peterschmitt, M. (2003) Les maladies à bégomovirus chez la tomate dans les départements français d’Outre-Mer. Le Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) à la Réunion.
Phytoma - La Défense des Végétaux no. 562, 13-17.