EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2000 Num. article: 2000/029

Situation of tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus in Florida (US)

In the early 1990s, tomato yellow leaf curl begomovirus (TYLCV, EPPO A2 quarantine pest) appeared in the Caribbean, in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. It is thought that it entered USA in Dade county, Florida in late 1996 or early 1997 (see EPPO RS 97/169). Sequence analysis showed that the virus in Florida was 99% identical with TYLCV-Is from Dominican Republic. Recently, TYLCV has also been detected in south Georgia (see EPPO RS 99/077). In July 1997, in Dade county, infected tomato plants were found in two retail production sites of transplants. In 1997/1998 diseased plants were detected in almost all counties which commercially produce tomatoes (Broward, Collier, Dade, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Palm Beach, St Lucia). It is thought that the movement of infected transplants is the most important means of dissemination of the disease, in particular via retail garden centres. Infected tomatoes planted in private gardens appear to be a source of TYLCV for nearby commercial nurseries and tomato production fields. Highest rates of infection in 1997/98 were recorded in Dade and Palm Beach counties (up to 15 % in some fields), but elsewhere the incidence was low. Measures are taken in Florida in particular to prevent spread to other states. Since the first findings, growers have been informed and encouraged to manage the disease (e.g. roguing of infected plants, implementation of integrated pest management programmes against whiteflies). Movement of plants such as tomato, tobacco and lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) from Florida to other states is regulated. These plants must have been found free from whiteflies (inspected twice a week) and strict control measures should have been taken during their production to exclude whiteflies from the production house. In Florida, eradication is not considered feasible.


Polston, J.E.; McGovern, R.J.; Brown, L.G. (1999) Introduction of tomato yellow leaf curl virus in Florida and implications for the spread of this and other geminiviruses of tomato.
Plant Disease, 83(11), 984-988.