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Berrien County 4-H Tomato Plant Sale

Controlling TSWV in Tomato Transplants 2015

By: Eddie Beasley

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus is one of the most widespread culprits in tomato production whether it be commercial or in the home garden. Luckily with modern technology and years of research control methods are available in which this pathogen can efficiently be controlled at a low cost. These methods are by no means one hundred percent effective, but they are close.

Tomato Spotted Wilt resistance is acquired in tomato varieties through a one gene resistance from the “Sw5 gene”. This gene is TRADITIONALLY BRED into our tomato varieties and not inserted genetically as would be in GMO crops. There are NO GMO tomato varieties available on the market. Resistant varieties are our most valued control option in defense from TSWV, which is transmitted by insects. The insects that spread this virus are called thrips which are very tiny and almost undetectable to the naked eye.

Having a resistant variety will protect the crop from acquiring this disease, but occasionally a plant will die because the resistance is not complete. Therefore the correct terminology should be ‘tolerant’. There are many varieties available with this resistance. One in particular is the variety ‘Red Bounty’. This variety is for sale at $1 a plant through the Berrien County Extension 4-H fundraiser and is available for order at this time. Red Bounty has many quality traits for the home garden, not only having TSWV resistance but nematode resistance as well. If you plan to have a successful home garden please contact the Berrien County Extension Office for information related to tomato production and to place your order. (229-686-5431)

CREDITS: Info from UGA CAES Website