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Poster: Epidemiology: Pathogen Dispersal


Field Survey of Tospoviruses Infecting Tomato in South Florida
O. Abdalla (1), S. Zhang (1) (1) University of Florida, U.S.A.

Several viruses are known to infect tomato plants in south Florida, leading to serious losses to growers. Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV), Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), are three tospoviruses currently known to infect tomato in this area. These tospoviruses can cause losses in tomato ranging from a reduction in fruit quality to a complete destruction of the crop. TCSV was first detected from tomato plants in Homestead, FL in 2012, and it has caused significant losses to commercial tomato growers since the fall of 2014. During 2015-2016 growing season, a survey on tospoviruses infecting tomato in Homestead, Florida was conducted to determine the disease incidence and distribution of the tospoviruses in commercial tomato production fields. The percentage of tomato plants showing tospovirus-like symptoms in Homestead tomato fields ranged from 4 - 80% with an average of 35 %. Two hundreds and seventy two tomato samples showing the symptoms were collected from over forty tomato fields. RNAs were extracted from the samples and tested by Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) using specific primers against TCSV, GRSV and TSWV to determine the incidence of both single and mixed infection of these viruses. RT-PCR results confirmed the infection of tomato plants with tospoviruses in Homestead. The results of the RT-PCR tests will be presented and more details will be discussed.