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Stolbur Disease of Tomato Plants in Niger. P. Reckhaus, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit. S. Reckhaus, and I. Adamou. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, and Direction de la Protection des Végétaux, B.P. 10.115, Niamey, République du Niger. Plant Dis. 72:268. Accepted for publication 14 September 1987. Copyright 1988 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-72-0268E.

Routine surveys of vegetable-producing oases in the Air Mountains of northern Niger revealed a significant increase in the incidence of stolbur disease of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Athough stolbur had been found on only eight plants during the prededing 4 yr. in February 1987 the disease was observed in eight of the 12 oases visited regularly. The highest disease incidence was 20%. Symptoms included stunting, yellowing of the leaves, and a strong proliferation of lateral shoots. Leaves of older plants were distorted and grayish. Flowers showed phyllody and/ or virescence, and calyxes often were as long as 5 cm, covering the flower like a beaker. The disease was diagnosed by electron microscopy and by graft transmission. In ultrathin sections of infected tomato plants, mycoplasmalike organsims were found in the phloem. The disease was easily transmissible by the grafting to healthy tomato plants, which showed typical symptoms after 5-6 wk.