Authorities in the Region of Murcia detected the first case of ToBRFV in Spain since 2019

The Plant Health Service of the Region of Murcia reported that a case of rough tomato virus (ToBRFV) was detected in isolated tomato plants in a greenhouse in Cañada de Gallego, in Mazarron. This is the first case of this disease in Spain after detecting an outbreak in 2019 that affected several farms in Vicar and El Ejido (Almeria), and that was successfully eradicated.

According to the Plant Health report published this Monday, the ToBRFV affects, above all, tomatoes and peppers. It mainly affects the plant's vigor, leads to a loss of production, and depreciates the commercial value of the fruits.

The ToBRFV is mainly transmitted by contact, both in tomato and pepper. Transmission is less significant through water circulation systems in hydroponic crops. It can also be transmitted by seeds, although its infective capacity is very low; however, a single seed-infected plant is sufficient for subsequent mechanical transmission throughout the plantation.

Given the danger of this highly persistent and transmissible virus, on August 11, 2020, the European Commission published Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1191, which establishes measures to prevent the introduction and spread of the pathogen.

The regulation establishes that the plantations affected by ToBRFV must destroy the suspicious and adjacent plants in such a way that their remains do not constitute new sources of infection. In addition, producers must work in an orderly manner, along cultivation lines, to control the advance of the virus if it is detected. They must also restrict access to the infected plot to prevent the spread of the disease, discard single-use clothing used by operators, and prevent the exchange of personnel, tools, or machinery between farms.

In addition, Plant Health has urged producers to eliminate all colonies of bumblebees present in the crop; the weeds that could serve as a reservoir for the pathogen; the remains of previous crops, including roots, as well as disinfecting boxes and recyclable packaging; and replacing or disinfecting stakes, rings, braces, threads, boxes, pallets, as well as the plastics used on floors. The pipes and structure of the entire greenhouse must also be disinfected.

The Plant Health authority said that the removal and destruction of the affected plants, pruning plant remains, and other waste by transfer should be handled by an authorized waste manager under conditions of maximum hygiene. They also warned that in no case should the infected remains may be used for composting.

It is also necessary to disinfect by solarization and, if you are using a substrate, change the bags.

You can access the full document here.



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