Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) is a recently discovered species that emerged in Israel around 2014. Since then outbreaks have been seen all over the world including a recent outbreak in the UK.
ToBRFV, a Tobamovirus; is a robust virus which is transmittable by contact and can therefore be spread through mechanical contact such as direct plant to plant contact, tools, clothing and even bumblebees.
The virus is a great concern as there are no known commercially available tomato varieties that are resistant to ToBRFV.
The European Commission have recently established emergency measures to prevent the introduction and the spread within the EU of ToBRFV that will apply from 1st November 2019.
Once plants are infected, they cannot be cured so spotting the signs early is vital. Growers must be vigilant and look out for:
Brown wrinkled (rugose) patches
Brown (necrotic) streaks on stems
Fera Science Limited’s world renowned plant health expert’s recommend good hygiene measures to minimise spread. Testing carried out by Fera has found that the virus survives on the skin and gloves for at least two hours, so changing gloves frequently and using disposable clothing and overshoes is one absolutely vital element to prevent further spread and crop losses. Fera’s experts continue to carry out experimental work on this damaging virus and will soon have advice on the disinfectant techniques to be used.
For more information about the virus, download the poster and get hygiene recommendations, click here.