Columnea latent viroid (CLVd)

Columnea latent viroid

CLVd is a threat to tomatoes and possibly potatoes. It distorts and discolours leaves and reduces yields.

About Columnea latent viroid (CLVd)

This sneaky viroid can get around in ornamental plants without showing any signs. It's known to occur naturally in 3 ornamental species and tomatoes. In scientific experiments, it has survived in potatoes, cucumber, eggplant, and capsicum, and other ornamental plants.

Global distribution of CLVd

World map showing global distribution of Columnea latent viroid

Why this is a problem for New Zealand

CLVd is a threat to tomatoes and possibly potatoes. It distorts and discolours leaves. Growth and yield are reduced.

CLVd can be transferred easily by people handling the plants and by contaminated equipment. Grafting and moving infected plant material can spread the disease locally and over long distances.

How it could get here

CLVd is most likely to arrive on infected nursery stock. We suspect CLVd could also be transmitted by infected seed.

Biosecurity New Zealand has strict measures in place to limit the chances of CLVd making it through the border.

How to identify CLVd

Plant diseases are difficult to diagnose as the signs can be similar in a number of diseases.

Symptoms of CLVd on tomatoes can include:

  • yellowed and distorted leaves with reduced growth
  • withering and dead spots on leaves
  • reduced yield.

If you suspect it

Experienced growers worried about unusual signs of disease in tomatoes should:

  • photograph it
  • contain the plant
  • call MPI on 0800 80 99 66
  • disinfect any tools you used on the plant (the viroid can be spread from tools).

Note: This information is a summary of the CLVd's global distribution and potential impacts on New Zealand.

Last reviewed: