By Citrus + Vegetable staff
In what is believed to be a first, groundnut ringspot virus has been detected in tomatoes in Florida.
Glades Crop Care of Jupiter, Fla., collected samples from infected tomatoes this winter, and genetic testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cornell University confirmed the disease in one sample in January and two in February, according to a University of Florida Pest Alert.
Foliar symptoms included necrotic flecking/spots, irregular chlorotic areas and deformed leaves.
Necrotic lesions on stem and petiole epidermal tissues also were observed.
Similar symptoms have been observed for about a decade on tomatoes in the Homestead area.
Groundnut ringspot virus previously had been found in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa infecting tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, soybeans and coriander.
The host range in Florida is not known.
It is a topovirus and is closely related to tomato spotted wilt virus, another topovirus.
For pictures and more information on groundnut ringspot, visit http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu.