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Viruses Infecting Tomato in Southern Florida. T. A. Zitter, University of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle Glade 33430. J. H. Tsai, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314. Plant Dis. 65:787-791. Accepted for publication 16 January 1981. Copyright 1981 American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-65-787.

Viruses occurring in commercial tomato fields in five counties in southern Florida during 19771979 were identified on the basis of symptomatology, immunodiffusion tests, indicator host reactions, and aphid transmission. The viruses or diseases and the amount of damage varied with location. Tobacco etch virus (TEV) and potato virus Y (PVY) were the only viruses found in Palm Beach County, where TEV was responsible for extensive losses in 19771979. A few samples from Dade County (Homestead) were infected with PVY, which caused little or no commercial loss. TEV, PVY, and tobacco mosaic virus were found in Lee and Collier counties (Naples-Bonita Springs and Immokalee production areas). A newly recognized disease of tomato, referred to here as tomato yellows, was the most widely distributed disease in Lee and Collier counties, involving nearly 100% of the late-spring 1978 tomato acreage in the Naples-Bonita Springs area. The tomato yellows agent was not mechanically transmitted but was transmitted by Myzus persicae in a circulative manner. Other studies suggested that the tomato yellows agent is a strain of potato leaf roll virus. The only tomato farm examined in Hendry County in the fall of 1978 showed more than 50% incidence of pseudocurly top. The diseases of most concern are tobacco etch on Florida's east coast and tomato yellows on the west coast.