Selected IDaids for the Tobamovirus Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV)

USDA recently issued a Federal Order imposing restrictions on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and pepper (Capsicum sp.) plants, fruits, and seeds imported from regions where ToBRFV is present. Because of the rapid spread of this pathogen, U.S. ports of entry are ramping up their inspections on tomato and pepper plants and plant parts.

In 2014, an Israeli grower first observed viral-like symptoms on tomatoes. The culprit was found to be a new virus, later named ToBRFV. Since this first observation, the virus has swiftly spread across the globe; it’s been reported in Europe, Asia, and Central and North America. In 2018, the virus was detected in California, but quickly contained and eradicated. ToBRFV’s aggressive spread is partly due to its highly virulent and contagious nature: the pathogen is readily transmitted by local contact, soil contamination, and mechanical means (e.g., hands, shoes, tools, etc.). It may even be vectored by bees. To date, there are no known resistant cultivars or treatments for the disease.

The virus’s name comes from the brown, rugose (wrinkly and rough) symptom it can cause on fruit, though this symptom is relatively rare. More-typical symptoms include brown necrotic regions on stems and leaves (usually appearing early in the disease cycle), mosaic and mottled patterns or narrowed and deformed leaves, or yellow mottling patterns on fruits. However, symptoms vary depending on host and climate. Once the disease is present, the only recourse growers have is to remove and destroy diseased plants, followed by strict phytosanitary practices and ensuring replacement plants/seeds are certified disease free.

Here we provide a set of IDaids to aid in the recognition and identification of this devastating disease.

Visit Search IDaids to find identification resources for many more plant pests.

Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV)

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO)

This image gallery contains over 100 photos of symptomatic hosts.

Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV)

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHBD), United Kingdom

This quick reference displays photos of disease symptoms along with helpful captions.

Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHBD), United Kingdom

In addition to describing the pathogen’s background, hosts, spread, and disease symptoms, this Knowledge Library page contains an assortment of useful links to presentations and resources about disease management and identification.

A New Israeli Tobamovirus Isolate Infects Tomato Plants Harboring Tm-2² Resistance Genes

Plos One, United States of America

This paper covers ToBRFV symptoms, host range, genome sequence data, and more.