Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spotted Wilt Virus Plaguing Tomatoes and Peppers

TSWV symptoms on tomato leaves
Since the mid 90’s, tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has been one of the most serious diseases of tomatoes in our area, and this year is no exception. While it has always been able to infect peppers, more cases of TSWV seem to be showing up on peppers in our area than in past year. Always deadly, there is no way to treat TSWV and infected plants should be pulled up and discarded. 

Tomato plants infected with TSWV may at first appear stunted and pale. Upon close inspection, you may notice unusual markings on the leaves. Sometimes these marking look like brown or black spots, other times they look like tattooed lines or circles. Spots may or may not be surrounded by yellow leaf tissue. The leaves of infected plants may curl inward, while the veins may turn purple, and plants often take on a bronze cast. Usually these symptoms show up on the top leaves of the plant first, while most other tomato diseases show up on the lower leaves first. As the disease progresses, infected plants wilt and die, usually within a week of the first symptoms appearing. 

Pepper plants infected with TSWV will be stunted and bear few peppers. Leaves and fruits will show yellow or brown circular spots and may be misshapen. See images of TSWV on pepper on this Cornell Extension webpage:

Learn more about how this disease is spread and how to prevent it by reading the rest of the article posted on the Pender Extension website:

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