Tips for Tackling Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tips for Tackling Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Petunia with tobacco mosaic virusTobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) is a stable virus that can exist in its infectious state for several years. According to Tom Ford, an Extension Educator with Penn State University who specializes in greenhouse and nursery production, this can be a dangerous problem for greenhouse growers who hire employees who may be smokers.

In a recent e-Gro alert, Ford points out that workers will often wear sweatshirts and jackets to and from the various greenhouse ranges. Because of employee turnover, sweatshirts and jackets may be left behind in the breakroom and in the greenhouse for years after an employee leaves the operation.


“Unfortunately, the innocently hanging jacket in the corner of the greenhouse that was once worn by a tobacco user could now serve as the source of TMV inoculum from a non-smoker who grabbed the coat on their way to the lower greenhouse range,” Ford says.

Greenhouse workers typically carry flats up against their clothing. If TMV virus particles exist on the clothing of a worker and that clothing comes in contact with a susceptible host, transmission of the virus to the crop could take place.

Check out the complete e-Gro alert for tips from Ford on how to prevent TMV infections.