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May 8, 2007

Growers can access information on new tomato disease

In March 2007, the virus that causes tomato yellow leaf curl popped up in greenhouse tomatoes being grown by a high school science class in Imperial County. Because this disease is new to California and potentially devastating for tomato production, agencies have produced an informational brochure to help curtail its spread.

   Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus
Photo by Robert Gilbertson

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus is a member of a family of viruses that are spread by whiteflies or leafhoppers. The virus infects peppers, some tobacco species, and a range of weed species, but tomato is by far the most important host.

With input from University of California Davis plant pathologist Robert Gilbertson, the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program developed a brochure to help growers and pest control advisors learn about the disease, how to identify it, and what to do if they suspect that their plants are infected. Several color photos illustrate disease symptoms and the whiteflies that spread the virus.

A PDF file of the brochure can be downloaded from the UC IPM Web site. A pest management guideline on tomato yellow leaf curl will be posted on the Web site in the near future.

Anyone finding tomatoes with symptoms that look like tomato yellow leaf curl should contact their local UC Cooperative Extension office, UC Davis plant pathologist Gilbertson, (530) 752-3163, or California Department of Food and Agriculture scientist Tonyan Tian, (916) 262-1127.

The California Tomato Research Institute, Inc., and California Tomato Growers Association, Inc., supported this project.


High-resolution image (1.2MB) "Tomato yellow leaf curl virus." Photo credit: Courtesy of UC Statewide IPM Program, by Robert Gilbertson. Photos are for use with this release only. All other uses see Legal Notices.

Tomato yellow leaf curl brochure—8.5 x 11 format (1MB, PDF)

Tomato yellow leaf curl brochure—tri-fold format (1MB, PDF)


Stephanie Klunk, Communications Specialist
UC Statewide IPM Program
(530) 754-6724

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