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Source: HortiDaily [edited]
A convention discussed the spreading of ToBRFV in Sicily. "It is important for qualified personnel to perform [the] tests. The virus has already [spread] considerably. Over the past 2 years, we have noticed a lack of communication from companies, as they fear reporting the virus would lead to crops being uprooted," explained Professor Walter Davino [University of Palermo].

Currently, around 45% of companies with protected crops report infections. In Sicily, the problem manifested in 2018. According to Davino, "no alert was made; no containment measure was implemented; there was no quick and effective detection method. In the meantime, however, we have set up [a] project to identify and track the virus starting from the nurseries."

Dario Cartabellotta, Regional Council for Agriculture, [said], "Considering the significant danger of the virus reducing tomato production especially in greenhouses, the Department of Agriculture, with the Plant Protection Service [DA/PPS], [is] monitoring the disease and traces movements of infected seeds and plants. The situation will only get worse until resistant varieties are found. Prevention is the only weapon. The problem was tackled with mandatory phytosanitary measures. In early February 2021, the work was audited by the European Commission. A new national regulation will require additional and complex measures to be implemented."
communicated by:
[_Tomato brown rugose fruit virus_ (ToBRFV) was recently identified as a new member of the genus _Tobamovirus_ (type member _Tobacco mosaic virus_, TMV) in Jordan and soon after in Israel (see links below). Since then, it has also been reported from a number of other countries in Europe and the Mediterranean region, where it appears to be spreading, as well as from North America and China. It was shown to also affect capsicum and has been detected in both plants and seed of both crops. ToBRFV symptoms on tomato vary depending on host cultivar, but they may include chlorosis, mottling, mosaic, and crinkling (rugosis) on leaves; necrotic spots on petioles and calyces; and yellowish mottling, brown spots, and rugosis on fruit, making them unmarketable. On capsicum, leaf symptoms are similar; fruits may be deformed with yellow mottling or green stripes. Almost 100% incidence was reported for some outbreaks in tomato, but not every fruit on an infected plant may show symptoms.

ToBRFV (like many tobamoviruses) is seed transmitted and can also be spread by mechanical means, contaminated equipment, as well as with plant or other materials. It is very stable and can remain infectious for months outside a host. Recently, bumblebees, which are used widely as commercial pollinators in glasshouse tomato production, have been shown to be effective vectors of ToBRFV (see link below). Volunteer crop plants and solanaceous weed species are likely pathogen reservoirs. The Tm-22 resistance gene used in some tomato cultivars to protect from other tobamoviruses (such as _Tomato mosaic virus_) does not appear to be effective against ToBRFV. Disease management relies mainly on exclusion but may include phytosanitation (disinfecting tools, removing crop debris) and control of virus reservoirs. Use of certified clean seeds or tomato transplants is crucial. Research on possible seed treatments to eliminate the virus is being carried out (see link below). Tomato seeds are traded widely and are known to pose a risk for spreading viruses and other pathogens internationally (for example, ProMED post 20140122.2222560).

Coinfection of ToBRFV with _Pepino mosaic virus_ (genus _Potexvirus_) and _Tomato spotted wilt virus_ (genus _Orthotospovirus_) have been found (ProMED posts 20191029.6751082, 20200507.7307615). It is thought that the observed symptoms on tomatoes may be due to either virus or to synergism. Further research is needed to clarify a potential role of ToBRFV in coinfections and to determine whether its presence in coinfections may have led to earlier cases of misdiagnosis and delayed identification of this new virus.

Italy: (with regions)
Europe, overview:

ToBRFV symptoms on tomato:,, and

Additional news story:
Recent updates from other European countries: (UK), (Belgium 1st rep, from Netherlands), (Spain), (Germany, in Dutch) and (Germany, subscription)
Information and characterisation of ToBRFV: (with distribution map), (Jordan), (Israel), (in capsicum) and via
ToBRFV spread by pollinators:
Tomato resistance breeding: and
ToBRFV seed treatment:
International spread of tobamoviruses by seeds (review):
Virus taxonomy via:
- Mod.DHA]


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