Friday, May 14, 2010

Virus Disease Threatens Area Tomato Plants

While there are many plant diseases that make growing tomatoes a challenge in the Southeast, a relatively new disease threatens to make home grown tomatoes even more difficult for many local gardeners to produce. Known as Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, or TSWV, this disease is different from most tomato diseases because it is caused by a virus rather than a fungus or bacteria. Most virus diseases in plants cause the infected plant to develop strange color patterns on the leaves or flowers and may cause stunting, but usually do not kill their host plant outright. Unfortunately TSWV does, and it has started showing up on tomato plants in our area in the past few weeks.

Early symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus include bronzing or distortion of leaves, brown or purplish spots, wilting, and stunting of tomato plants. There is no treatment for this disease, which can only be avoided by planting resistant varieties.

Learn more! Read the entire article online from the Pender County Cooperative Extension website:

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