The Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (IHSM) La Mayora (a center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research and the University of Malaga), in partnership with the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Technology and Research (INIA), has conducted a study about the virus that causes the tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCV), concluding that it does not spread through the seeds.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers have analyzed more than 3,000 plants grown from seeds collected from infected plants of seven different tomato genotypes, and in no case was there transmission of the TYLCV to the offspring.
The results of the research are of great importance, not only for seed houses, but for tomato producers, with tomatoes being one of the main horticultural crops in Andalusia. Almeria alone cultivates more than 10,000 hectares. It is followed by Granada, with 3,484 hectares. In Malaga, the crop covers about 1,000 hectares.
Despite the importance of tomatoes for the Andalusian agricultural sector, there are diseases that cause great financial losses. One of them is the one caused by the TYLCV.
Under natural conditions, the TYLCV is transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, but recent work has suggested its possible transmission through tomato seeds, based on infections observed in Korea. Due to the consequences of this finding in the epidemiology and control of the disease, researchers of the IHSM La Mayora and INIA considered it essential to review and extend these results to other tomato growing areas.
The work has shown that the TYLCV is found in flowers and reproductive organs and can be detected in the seeds of tomatoes and the Nicotiana benthamiana species, but it is not transmitted vertically to the offspring.