The Q&A Archives: How TMV Is Spread

Question: How is the TMV virus communicated in tomatoes-- is it soil-borne, air-borne, or otherwise spread? Since I grow tomato plants in separate CONTAINERS, I need to know if TMV can affect them all (e.g., if it is air-borne), or if it cannot "jump" from one container to another (for example, if TMV is soil-borne only). MaryAnne Spinner Chicago, IL

Answer: TMV virus is spread by physical contact on infected plants/soil with other plants. It actually can be on the seed too, but if you're buying seed from a reputable dealer, this shouldn't be a concern. It can't "jump" from one container to another, butif you work with the infected plant, then touch or move soil to the uninfected plant, it can spread. That's why it's best to remove and destroy any infected plants and soil.

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