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Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus: Treating Tomatoes With Spotted Wilt Virus

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus: Treating Tomatoes With Spotted Wilt Virus


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Spotted wilt in tomato was first discovered in Australia more than a century ago and was eventually determined to be a viral disease transmitted by thrips. Read on to learn about tomato spotted wilt treatment.

Symptoms of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Tomato spotted wilt virus affects hundreds of plant species. In the United States, spotted wilt in tomato has done significant damage in several southern states, including Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia.

Early symptoms of tomatoes with spotted wilt virus can vary, but typically, diseased leaves turn brown or coppery purple, with small, pale brown spots. Plants are stunted and the leaves look wilted or crumpled and may curl downward.

Spotted wilt in tomato may cause blotches, spots and bumps on the fruit, often morphing into concentric rings of brown or yellow. Shape of the fruit may be stunted and distorted.

Controlling Spotted Wilt in Tomatoes

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for tomatoes with spotted wilt virus once the plants are infected. However, you can minimize the damage. Here are a few tips for controlling spotted wilt in tomato plants:

Plant disease-resistant tomato varieties.

Purchase tomatoes from reputable nurseries or greenhouses that take steps to manage thrips. Reduce the thrip population. Monitor your garden for the pests, using yellow or blue sticky traps. Insecticidal soap sprays and horticultural oils are relatively safe but must be applied to all plant surfaces, including the undersides of leaves. Repeat treatments are usually necessary.

Pesticides are of limited effectiveness against thrips, but if you want to give it a try, products containing Spinosad may be less likely to harm populations of pirate bugs, green lacewings, and other beneficial insects that prey on thrips. To protect bees, don’t spray plants that are flowering.

Keep weeds and grass in check; they can serve as hosts for thrips.

Consider removing young tomato plants at the earliest signs of symptoms. Remove infected plant material and dispose of it properly. Destroy all infected plants after harvest.

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Plants infected with Tomato spotted wilt virus exhibit bronzing of the upper sides of young leaves, which later develop distinct, necrotic spots. Leaves may be cupped downward. Some tip dieback may occur. On ripe fruit chlorotic spots and blotches appear, often with concentric rings. Green fruit show slightly raised areas with faint, concentric zones.

Tomato spotted wilt virus is transmitted by various species of thrips, including the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, the onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, and the chili thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis. Tomato spotted wilt virus also infects the thrips vector. Nymphs that acquire the virus by feeding on infected plants will retain the ability to transmit it for the remainder of their lives. Tomato spotted wilt virus cannot be passed from infected females through the eggs.

The virus has an extremely wide host range, including many weeds and ornamentals as well as crop hosts. It is one of the few plant viruses with a host range that includes dicots and monocots (e.g., tomatoes and onions). Recent outbreaks have occurred in the San Joaquin Valley where they are believed to be associated with nearby infested crops or weeds.


  • The fungus thrives in cool temperatures and when soil is moist and not too warm (60-75ВєF).
  • It can attack at any stage in a tomato plant’s growth, but is most common when plant is producing fruit.
  • Plants in poorly drained soil are more susceptible to infection than those in well-drained soil. Wet soil allows the fungus to multiply and move up through the tomato plant’s water-conducting tissue.

When compared with fusarium wilt. Verticillium develops more slowly than fusarium wilt. Yellowing is less dramatic with verticillium and encircles the entire plant, while those infected with fusarium tend to show symptoms just on one side. Interior stem discoloration extends just 10-12 inches high in tomatoes infected with verticillium wilt, but all the way up the stem in those infected with fusarium wilt.
When compared with early blight. Spots from early blight develop concentric circles verticillium spots do not.
When compared with bacterial canker. Verticillium symptoms encircle the entire plant. Those infected with bacterial canker tend to show symptoms on just one side.


Easy ways to deal with quick wilt disease in tomatoes

Plant tomato varieties like Sakthi, Mukthi, Anagha, Manulakshmi, Manuprabha, Akshaya and Vellayani Vijay which have high immunity.

Q uick wilt is a plant disease that affects tomato plants more commonly. The plant gets wilted rapidly after being infected with the bacteria. Resistance is more effective than treatment of the disease.

In order to avoid quick wilt from spreading to other plants, we can take some preventive measures while growing tomatoes.

  • Remove and destroy the infected tomato plants from the garden.
  • Water should not puddle in the flowerbed and soil should be water permeable.
  • Plant tomato varieties like Sakthi, Mukthi, Anagha, Manulakshmi, Manuprabha, Akshaya and Vellayani Vijay which have high immunity.
  • Avoid tomato cultivation in places where quick wilt disease was spotted earlier.
  • Dip the saplings in Pseudomonas solution for 30 minutes before planting.
  • Add bleaching powder in the farm in a ratio of 10 gram for one cent.

If the plants are already affected with the quick wilt disease, we have to control the disease by using some chemical compounds.

  • One percent Bordeaux mixture or three grams copper oxychloride or one gram streptocycline mixed in 6 litre water can be poured at the bottom of the plant.
  • Dipping the saplings in streptocycline solution for 30 minutes before planting is also good.
  • Mix 20 grams Pseudomonas in 1 litre water and pour this solution into the flowerbed of the plant and sprinkle on plants to avoid quick wilt disease.


Watch the video: Tomatoes growing well.