First report of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Belgium
The NPPO of Belgium recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first detection of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (Tobamovirus, ToBRFV – EPPO A2 List) on its territory. ToBRFV was first detected in August 2020 following trace-back activities conducted by the NPPO of the Netherlands on a seed lot of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). These seeds were used to grow tomato plants for experiments in a greenhouse (biosafety level 2) in a University. ToBRFV was detected in one tomato plant. All tomato plants and the remaining seeds were destroyed. ToBRFV was detected again in December 2020 in a greenhouse for tomato fruit production. Symptoms were observed in some scattered plants. The grower had bought plantlets from a nursery in the Netherlands where the virus had earlier been detected. As the plants were in the middle of their growth cycle, strict hygiene measures have been imposed at the greenhouse and at the packing station (including cleaning and disinfection of packaging material) to allow trade of tomatoes. The greenhouse will have to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after removal of the crop (under strict conditions). The following crop in this production site will be inspected, sampled and tested at least six months after planting, to verify the absence of the virus, before measures could be lifted.
The pest status of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Belgium is officially declared as: Present, under eradication.
NPPO of Belgium (2020-11, 2020-12).