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Wageningen UR: "virus does not appear to pose new threat"

First report of Southern tomato virus in German tomatoes

Southern Tomato Virus (STV) has been identified in tomatoes in several countries in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. In 2019, greenhouse tomatoes from Lower Saxony, Germany, showed symptoms consisting of mottling, yellowing and/or chlorotic spots. Eight samples were sent to the Julius Kuehn Institute for analysis. As an infection with Tomato brown fruit rugose virus was suspected, the samples were analysed for rapid diagnosis.

STV sequences were detected in two of the pools, and no other virus sequences were detected. More tests were done to confirm the findings in the original samples, and STV infection was confirmed in three samples.

Recently Wageningen University & Research published an article about STV. In the article, they concluded that: "Based on the current research information on STV, this tomato virus does not appear to pose a new or real threat to the sector. STV has probably been present in tomatoes for a long time but was simply never detected. With new techniques, we are now finding more and more (new) viruses whose biological significance is often not clear. Cryptic viruses such as STV are common but we do not know yet what their role or function is."

Source: New Disease Reports & Wageningen University

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