Tomatoes and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

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Posted by @farmerdill on
Tomato spotted wilt first appears as light brown flecks on leaves. This is followed by growing brown spots, drooping, and finally, full browning and dying. The plants will look wilted. It affects many plants other than tomatoes, but on tomatoes the fruit is also severely affected. Discoloration is the most common effect, but cracking and rot also appear in severe cases. It also degrades the flavor and texture.

Thumb of 2014-01-14/farmerdill/6f17dfTSW has become a major problem in the area where I live. It is so serious that I have spent the last 8 years trying to outwit the virus. It is a somewhat sporadic infection, which some years affects lots of tomatoes, others just a percentage of the plants. The major vectors are thrips, which are very difficult to control. Even a commercial grower will find it difficult, even with specialized pesticides.

My first line of defense has been to grow TSWV-resistant cultivars. These have been rapidly growing in number, and a few of the latest ones are edible. BHN released some of the earliest resistant cultivars. BHN 444 became quite popular in this area. A nice large fresh market tomato with good appearance, it was quite firm. You could play softball with it. The taste was nothing to write home about. BHN subsequently released several better varieties: BHN 602, BHN 640, and BHN 1021. BHN 1021 was trialed several years ago and while it had much better texture and flavor than BHN 444, it was still lacking as table fare.

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Others I tried are:

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Top Gun') (Seminis) productive, but hard and tasteless;

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Sophia') (mediocre);

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Talladega') (Syngenta)(mediocre);

PS015229351 (slight improvement);

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Fletcher') (Seedway) ( slight improvement);

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Red Defender') (Harris)( not bad, but still left a lot to desired)

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The three best that I have tried to date have been productive and reasonably tasty. Topping that list is Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Bella Rosa') (Sakata). Taste and texture are comparable to Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Rutgers') . Also good is Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Mountain Merit') with decent texture and flavor and good production. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Amelia') is the most productive of the group and the largest plant. Good taste and flavor. It matches up with other fresh market hybrids in that regard.

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There are a lot of TSWV-resistant varieties that I have not tried yet. In addition to the fresh market types, there are plum types, such as Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Muriel') (Sakata). The virus does not seem to affect cherry/grape varieties. One of the earlier TSWV-resistant varieties that caught my eye had a name describing the frustration with TSW: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Out Damn Spot'). The seeds were ridiculously expensive, so I never got around to trying it.

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Question for farmer dill by RavenCroft Mar 3, 2020 11:01 PM 3
Cherry types by Patti1957 Mar 6, 2014 6:27 PM 9
prevention strategies for solanum crops by hazelnut Mar 4, 2014 7:04 AM 1

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