Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a begomovirus (family Geminiviridae) that causes severe chlorosis, stunting, and cupping of leaves in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) throughout the world. The disease was first reported in the United States in Florida in 1997 (2). In 2000, TYLCV was confirmed as the cause of severe chlorosis, stunting, and cupping of leaves in tomato in Louisiana (3). In January of 2001, mild symptoms consistent with TYLCV were observed in a greenhouse-tomato production operation in east-central Mississippi. Whiteflies (Bremisia tabaci) were present in the greenhouse during the previous month, but in relatively low numbers. Symptom severity slightly increased over time with chlorosis in the terminal, reduction in terminal leaf size, and upward cupping of leaves observed. Approximately 4% of plants in the greenhouse developed symptoms. Yield reductions are thought to be negligible since the tomato plants harbored most fruit for that growing season. Terminal growth was halted, and no additional flower production was observed. No symptoms were observed on mature fruit; however, fruit set after leaf symptoms developed remained stunted. A representative sample of symptomatic tissue was submitted to an independent lab (Agdia, Inc., Elkhart, IN), screened for whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses, and the results were positive. Additional symptomatic tomato tissue was submitted to the University Diagnostics Lab, University of Florida, Gainesville, and was observed for viral inclusion bodies. This test was positive for TYLCV based on morphology of virus particles located in the nucleus of tomato cells (1). Total DNA was extracted from the symptomatic plants for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay (2). Results from the PCR assay indicated the presence of TYLCV in symptomatic tomato tissue. The strain of the virus was not determined. To our knowledge, this is the first report of TYLCV in Mississippi.
References: (1) B. Pico et al. Sci. Hortic. 67:151, 1996. (2) J. E. Polston et al. Plant Dis. 83:984, 1999. (3) R. A. Valderde et al. Plant Dis. 85:230, 2001.