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Current status of Tomato chlorotic spot virus in Florida and the Caribbean
Scott Adkins: USDA ARS USHRL; Samuel Hutton: University of Florida; Consuelo Estevez de Jensen: University of Puerto Rico, Agro-environmental Sciences; Joe Funderburk: University of Florida; William Turechek: USDA ARS SAA SPP
<div>Damaging outbreaks of <i>Tomato chlorotic spot virus</i> (TCSV), an emerging thrips-vectored tospovirus, and several invasive species of thrips are significantly impacting vegetable and other crops in Florida and the Caribbean. Host and geographic ranges of TCSV are continuing to expand in this region. Development of effective strategies requires a multi-pronged approach against TCSV and its key vectors, including western flower thrips and common blossom thrips. The <i>Sw-5</i> gene for resistance to <i>Tomato spotted wilt virus </i>(TSWV), a related tospovirus, also confers resistance to TCSV. New hybrids containing this gene are currently being evaluated in south Florida field trials. Epidemic development is being characterized through intensive sampling of commercial pepper fields. Viral incidence data is being used to characterize the spatial and temporal progress of the virus. Corresponding flower samples are being collected for thrips identification and to characterize the relationship between thrips density and disease incidence. New qRT-PCR protocols have been developed for rapid, quantitative and specific identification of TCSV. Symptomatic plant samples tested to date have been infected primarily by TCSV although TSWV is also occasionally detected. Collectively, this information will lead to development of management strategies that are better focused on disrupting virus and/or thrips biology.</div>

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