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Emerging viruses in Florida and the Caribbean

Scott Adkins: USDA, ARS, US Horticultural Research Laboratory

<div>Multiple thrips-, whitefly- and aphid-transmitted viruses have recently emerged or re-emerged in vegetable and ornamental crops in Florida and the Caribbean. <em>Tomato spotted wilt virus</em> (a thrips-transmitted tospovirus) and <em>Tomato yellow leaf curl virus </em>(a whitefly-transmitted begomovirus) have historically been significant constraints to vegetable and/or ornamental production in this region. With the emergence or re-emergence of additional thrips- and whitefly-transmitted viruses such as <em>Tomato chlorotic spot virus</em> (TCSV), <em>Cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus</em> (CYSDV), <em>Cucurbit leaf crumple virus</em> (CuLCrV) and <em>Squash vein yellowing virus</em> (SqVYV), pathogen identification and management has become more complex. Aphid-transmitted potyviruses like <em>Zucchini tigré mosaic virus</em> (ZTMV) and non-insect-transmitted tobamoviruses like <em>Tomato mottle mosaic virus</em> (ToMMV) have also begun to appear with greater regularity. Several novel virus species including the ilarvirus Tomato necrotic streak virus (TomNSV) have been detected. New protocols have been developed for rapid and specific identification of these viruses, and to facilitate studies on host and geographic range expansion. Collectively, this information will lead to management strategy improvement. Ongoing tracking of emerging and re-emerging viruses in Florida and the Caribbean will help strengthen agricultural security in the area, which is especially critical in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes.</div>