About tomato torrado virus (ToTV)
ToTV can cause major production losses in some types of tomato (cultivars). It has also been found naturally in some weed species.
In experiments, scientists could infect potato, eggplant, and capsicum with this virus. However, we're not sure if this would happen in nature.
Overseas, we know some whitefly species can spread the virus from plant to plant in a local area. We have these insects in New Zealand already.
Global distribution of tomato torrado virus
Why this is a problem for New Zealand
Tomatoes are an important economic crop and are a favourite of home gardeners. This virus can affect the look and growth of the fruit, not just the plant.
How it could get here
Nursery stock would provide the most likely way for ToTV to get to New Zealand.
Biosecurity New Zealand has strict measures in place to limit the chances of ToTV making it through the border.
Where would you find it?
The virus and its insect carriers tend to prefer warmer environments. It's most likely to be found in a greenhouse.
How to identify the disease
The symptoms vary in seriousness, depending on the tomato variety grown.
- Fruit can be blotchy, have line patterns, and be hardened.
- Lesions of dead tissue may appear on stems and leaves.
- Leaves may develop holes.
- Plants look 'burnt'.
- Plants are stunted, leading to substantial yield loss.
If you think you've found ToTV
Experienced growers who've found unusual symptoms that match this virus should:
- photograph the plant
- call 0800 80 99 66
Note: This information is a summary of this disease's global distribution and potential impacts to New Zealand.