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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tomato Mosaic Virus

My Tomato and It's Distorted Leaves

I continue to search for the answer to my distorted leaves symptom. I'm sure it is mosaic virus. I found it at this web-site below. The third picture there is what my leaves look like. It is a virus. It is spread by insects but also by human hands and tools. It can stay in the soil.

During June I noticed an increase of insects. I noticed a plant I bought had curled/distorted leaves. I also noticed the same problem with plants I bought last year. Both from the same store. The insects probably spread the virus. Realistically to plants I also sold.

My options are to pull infected plants and let those beds rest a year. I could steam the ground, yeah right. I've decided I will solarize them. I will have time to do this next year before planting in there. I will also plant - plants that don't get mosaic virus in those beds.

All my seed starting gear will be soak in a bleach solution and put away. I will only be using peat-moss next year for starting seeds. The peat-moss isn't sterile but it is dried at a good temperature and thus it has never had insects or weed seeds in it when I have used it in the past. Used only 100% peat-moss that is. Why do this? The mixed soils that aren't sterile could be the cause of the problems I am having. I used a mix of peat and other materials this year. They were Sta-Green which sucks and Miracle Grow soils which I like. Sta-Green was too woody and I think the cause of insects. Though I have no proof. June was really bad for bugs. has pictures and the information below is from that site.


Typical symptoms include a light and dark green mottling of the leaf tissue and stunting of the plant. Foliar symptoms can vary from a chlorotic mottling to necrosis as well as upward leaf rolling and stem streaking depending on which strain of ToMV infects the plant. During cool temperatures leaves may develop a "fernleaf appearance where the leaf blade is greatly reduced, while during high temperatures foliar symptoms may be masked. Occasionally the fruit will show disease symptoms which vary from an uneven ripening to an internal browning of the fruit wall (brown wall). Brown wall typically occurs on the fruit of the first two clusters and appears several days prior to foliar symptoms. Under certain environmental conditions some varieties with resistance (heterozygous) to ToMV will show necrotic streaks or spots on the stem, petiole, and foliage as well as on the fruit.

Conditions for Disease Development:

ToMV has a wide host range including many agricultural crops and weeds, all of which can serve as inoculum sources. It is readily transmitted by machinery or workers from infected to healthy plants during handling. Infested debris from a previous crop can lead to infection when the roots of the new tomato plants come in contact with the debris. Chewing insects can transmit the virus, but are not considered a major source of infection. Tomato seed can carry the virus, but actual infection is thought to occur when plants are thinned or transplanted.

The use of ToMV resistant varieties is the best way to reduce losses from this disease. Avoid planting in soil from previous crops that were infected with ToMV. Steam sterilizing the potting soil and containers as well as all equipment after each crop can reduce disease incidence. Before handling containers or plants be sure all workers wash with soap and water. Sterilizing pruning utensils or snapping off suckers without touching the plant instead of knife pruning help reduce disease incidence. Direct seeding in the field will reduce the spread of ToMV.