Posts Tagged ‘tomato spotted wilt virus’

Tomato Spotted Wilt Problems in High Tunnel/Greenhouse Tomatoes

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of Maryland; jbrust@umd.edu

I recently visited a grower that grows both tomatoes and bedding plants. The plants are grown in a high tunnel-like setting, i.e., with heat. The grower was having problems in his tomato plants, but not in his bedding plants. The tomato plants looked like they had tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). The symptoms were found on most of his tomato plants, which would be unusual, as most of the time only an occassional plant here and there would be infected with the virus. The grower thought that is what he had as did an alert County Educator—and they were right. The grower unfortunaetly had a perfect storm in his operations that produced high percentages of TSWV infection in his tomato crop, but not his bedding plants.

Tomato spotted wilt virus is an obligate parasite; it must have a living host and must be moved from one plant to another by thrips or through cuttings or possibly seed. TSWV is transmitted most efficiently by Western flower thrips (WFT) (Frankliniella occidentalis), and less so by Onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), Tobacco thrips (Frankliniella fusca) and a few other thrips species. It is not transmitted by Eastern flower thrips (Frankliniella tritici).

WFT completes its life cycle in about 10-18 days. Eggs are laid in the leaf or tomato fruit. When WFT oviposit into tomato fruit they often cause a deeper dimple (black arrows Fig. 1) than other thrips species and very often the dimple is surrounded by a halo of white tomato tissue (white arrow Fig 1). This is how I could tell the grower had WFT present at one time (when I visited I could find no live thrips) at fairly high levels by the ovipositioning marks on his tomatoes. Larvae hatch in about three days and immediately begin to feed and in so doing pick up the virus. After four days, they pupate in the soil, and in a little over three days, the pupae become adults. Only immature thrips can acquire the virus, which they can acquire within 15 minutes of feeding, but adults are just about the only stage able to transmit the virus. Adults can transmit the virus for weeks.

TSWV infected leaves may show small, dark-brown spots (Fig. 2) or streaks on stems and leaf petioles (we found one prickly lettuce weed with such a symptom). Growing tips are usually affected with systemic necrosis and potentially stunted growth. Tomato fruit will have mottled, light green or yellow rings usually with raised centers (Fig 3).

Weed hosts function as important virus reservoirs for TSWV and can survive in and around greenhouses or even high tunnels through the winter. Some of these weeds include prickly lettuce, chickweed, (Fig. 4) spiny amaranth, lambquarters, black nightshade, shepherd’s purse, galinsoga and burdock. This grower unfortunately had a good crop of prickly lettuce at one end of his high tunnel.

The grower had been able to control his thrips populations with spinosad, but western flower thrips are notorious for developing resistance and sure enough have developed resistance to this insecticide in many greenhouses. So populations of WFT increased and with the weeds that were around and in the high tunnel some of which tested positive for TSWV, but negative for INSV, it was a perfect scenario for an outbreak of TSWV. I should note here that we tested for both INSV and TSWV on the tomatoes, weeds and impatiens. Only TSWV was found in the tomato and the weeds. No INSV was found in any sample. Although both viruses are transmitted by the same thrips species these viruses tend to infect either bedding plants (INSV) or tomato/pepper plants (TSWV). The grower threw out all his infected tomato plants and is in the process of killing his weeds in and around his high tunnel. He was able to get control of his thrips in his bedding plants using combinations of pylon and pyrethroids. One variety of tomato the grower was growing that did not show any symptoms of TSWV, even though it was right next to the other infected varieties was Mountain Glory.

Fig 1 Tomato fruit with WFT ovipostion marks

Fig. 2 Tomato leaves with TSWV symptoms and positive immunostrip (two black arrows; Agdia, Inc)

Fig. 3 Tomato fruit with TSWV symptoms

 

Fig. 4 Two common weed hosts of TSWV; prickly lettuce and chickweed

 

Vegetable Crop Diseases

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist; bobmul@udel.edu

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
Tomato spotted wilt virus was indentified and confirmed today by ELISA on tomato plants from across the line in MD. We don’t see this very often but the symptoms are pretty obvious most of the time. It can be a problem when tomato transplants are produced with ornamental bedding plants, which harbor the virus. The virus is often then transmitted to tomatoes by Western flower thrips. The virus can be transmitted from weeds and perennial ornamentals as well by nine species of thrips. Young leaves are bronze colored and later develop numerous small dark spots. Growing points may die and stems of terminals may be streaked.

 

Tomato spotted wilt on tomato

Bacterial Wilt in Cucurbits*
Symptoms of bacterial wilt will vary depending on the cucurbit crop. In general, plants may wilt during the day in hot weather and ‘recover’ during cooler parts of the evening and morning. Margins and interveinal areas of leaves become necrotic which cause leaves to appear ‘scorched’. Look for beetle feeding scars on cotyledons and stems of young plants. Healthy green plants will turn chlorotic (yellow) with time and infected plants will eventually collapse and die, exposing fruit to sunscald injury. Cutting through stem tissue at the base of infected plants often reveals a coppery-tan color where the bacterium causes the vascular tissue to ‘plug up’. Control of bacterial wilt begins with controlling striped and spotted cucumber beetles which vector the pathogen early in the growing season as plants emerge. Late-season beetle control will remain important as fruit begins to mature. Late-season beetle feeding may cause injury to stems ruining aesthetic quality. For more information on cucumber beetle and bacterial wilt control please see the 2008 Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations Guide.

Anthracnose of Pepper
Symptoms of anthracnose infection in pepper fruit include sunken, circular spots which develop blackish-tan to orange concentric rings as lesions develop. Lesions on stems and leaves appear as grayish-brown spots with dark margins and can easily be overlooked.

Control of anthracnose begins with using clean-free seed and/or transplants. A three-year crop rotation with non-solanaceous crops is recommended. After the harvest season, pepper fields should be disced and plowed under thoroughly to bury crop debris. Beginning at flowering and as small fruit begin to set, alternate maneb (M3) at 1.5 to 3 lb/A 75DF with one of the following FRAC code 11 fungicides:

azoxystrobin (Quadris at 6.2 to 15.4 fl oz 2.08F/A)
or
Flint (trifloxystrobin) 50WDGat 2 to 4 oz/A
or
Cabrio (pyraclostrobin) 20EG at 8 to 12 oz/A
or
Tanos (famoxodone + cymoxanil, 11 + 27) at 8 to 20 50WDG/A.

 

Anthracnose on pepper fruit

Bacterial Leaf Spot of Pepper*
Symptoms of bacterial spot on pepper leaves include small, brown water-soaked lesions that turn brown and necrotic in the centers. Spots may coalesce and form large blighted areas on leaves and premature defoliation can occur. On fruit, brown lesions can form which have a roughened, cracked wart-like appearance. High temperatures, high relative humidity and rainfall favor bacterial spot development. Loss from bacterial spot can be reduced somewhat by maintaining high levels of fertility, which will stimulate new growth. Applying a fixed copper (M1) at labeled rates plus maneb (M3) at 1.5 lbs 75DF/A or 8 to 10 oz Tanos (famoxadone + cymoxanil, 11 + 27) may help suppress spread. For more information on control of Bacterial leaf spot of pepper please see the 2008 Delaware Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations.

*From Andy Wyenandt, Rutgers University