ToBRFV – what you need to know

22/05/2020 - With the potential to cause severe damage in tomato and sweet pepper crops, Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) can be mechanically transmitted through standard glasshouse practices. Potential control measures are very limited relying on eliminating infected plants and implementing strict hygiene measures. However, employed prophylactically, hygiene measures can also minimise the risk of entry, spread and impact of this highly problematic virus.

Help at hand
To help prevent and control outbreaks, Biobest’s has designed an informative new ToBRFV poster. Highlighting key symptoms crop workers should look out for, it also lists the strict precautions our teams take when visiting greenhouses, as well as a number of key measures we recommend growers implement themselves.

What to look out for
Biobest’s informative new poster highlights 12 recognisable symptoms of ToBRFV – which vary with variety. These range from chlorotic or pale patches on younger leaves to narrowing and crumpling of older leaves. Infected stems can develop necrotic streaks while fruits can be misshapen and discoloured, develop chlorotic marbling (similar to Pepino mosaic virus) and display brown wrinkled (rugose) patches. Tomato is a major host of ToBRFV, while sweet pepper tends to show slight symptoms.

Readily spread
Stable outside of its host, the virus can be readily spread. Once an outbreak occurs, the virus can quickly spread through standard glasshouse practices using contaminated tools and equipment as well as via hands and clothing. ToBRFV can also be spread via infected seeds, plants, grafts and fruit. Following an outbreak, it has the potential to remain viable in leaf debris, seeds or contaminated soil for several months.

Here at Biobest we take ToBRFV very seriously. To minimise the risk of an outbreak in your crop, we have strict protocols in place for our team – as outlined on the poster.

For full details, together with key precautions we recommend growers to take to minimise the risk of a ToBRFV outbreak, please take a minute to download a copy of our new poster. Not only will this help your production team remain vigilant to early signs, it will help them implement measures to prevent an outbreak and provide reassurance that we are playing our part in the fight against the spread of this virus.

Picture credits: Dr. Aviv Dombrovsky, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Israel

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