Greenhouse Tomato Growers Monitoring New Potential Virus Threat

Greenhouse Tomato Growers Monitoring New Potential Virus Threat

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus

Tomato plants infected with tomato brown rugose fruit virus. (a, d) Brown rugose symptoms developed on fruit. (b, c) Chlorotic spots on fruit. (a, e-g) Mosaic pattern developed on leaves and narrowing accompanied by mottling leaves. (g) Necrotic symptoms on pedicle (stem), calyces, and petioles. (Source: Dombrovsky and Smith 2017 [CC BY 3.0]).

Greenhouse tomato growers are being warned to watch out for the possibility of brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), which was first detected in Israel in 2014. Since then, ToBRFV has been detected in several areas, including Europe, the Middle East, and North America (Mexico and the U.S.). ToBRFV has the potential to significantly affect crop production and the marketability of tomatoes, although the virus is not a food safety risk.


How ToBRFV was introduced to the U.S. and/or Mexico has not been determined, although a report from the American Phytopathogical Society outlines the results of tests in a California greenhouse in September 2018.

The Canadian Horticultural Council is advising the country’s growers to watch for the virus and to review and renew biosecurity efforts, even though the virus has not been found in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency offers information on symptoms and spread of the virus, along with photos and tips to limit its introduction, here.