Link to home

A Multivirus Epidemic of Tomatoes in Alabama

January 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  1
Pages  117 - 120

Edward J. Sikora , Extension Specialist and Associate Professor , Robert T. Gudauskas , Emeritus Professor , and John F. Murphy , Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849 ; Daniel W. Porch , Associate County Agent, Blount County, Oneonta, AL 35121 ; Mahefa Andrianifahanana , Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Auburn University ; Geoffrey W. Zehnder , Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, Auburn University ; Ellen M. Bauske , Extension Associate, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University ; Joseph M. Kemble , Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University ; and Donald F. Lester , former County Agent, St. Clair County, Pell City, AL 35125

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 8 September 1997.

During 1992, a multivirus epidemic reduced tomato production by as much as 25% in the major tomato-growing region of Alabama. Estimated yield losses of 100% resulted from the epidemic in over 250 ha in two counties of North Alabama. Cucumber mosaic cucumovirus (CMV), alone or in combination with potato potyvirus Y (PVY) and/or tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV), was responsible for the crop failure. CMV was detected alone or in combination with PVY and/or TEV in over 70% of the samples tested and was present in 90% of the fields surveyed. In 1993, 21 tomato fields were monitored weekly from transplanting through harvest for CMV, PVY, TEV, tobacco mosaic tobamovirus, and tomato spotted wilt tospovirus. All 5 viruses were detected, with CMV occurring most frequently. Incidence of CMV at the 61% level or higher was found in 16 of the 21 fields surveyed. Tomatoes transplanted in April and May were least effected and had relatively low virus incidence until late in their development. Tomatoes transplanted in June and July were infected at an earlier age, had the highest virus incidence, were the most severely affected, and suffered the greatest loss in yield. In 1994,Aphis gossypii, the cotton aphid, was the most common virus vector found during an aphid monitoring/virus spread study. Populations of A. gossypii peaked in late June, immediately preceding a period of rapid CMV incidence and spread.

Additional keywords: satellite RNA

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society