P&PDL Picture of the Week for
March 22, 2010

Pepino Mosaic Virus on Tomato

Tom Creswell and Gail Ruhl; Plant Disease Diagnosticians

Pepino mosaic virus on tomato was found for the first time outside of South America in 1990 in greenhouse tomato crops in the Netherlands. Since then, its incidence in greenhouse tomato crops has been reported in several other European countries and in North America.

Pepino mosaic virus is a highly infectious virus that is easily spread from tomato plant to tomato plant by mechanical means such as on growers’ hands, tools, equipment and by plants rubbing against each other. The severity of the damage depends on the virus strain. Leaf symptoms include mosaic and spotting. Fruit quality is reduced due to smaller fruit, blotchy ripening and marbling.

The virus has been reported to be seed borne but there is conflicting information about this. It may be seed borne only on the seed coat. The virus is systemic throughout the plant.

Control requires strict sanitation. Commercially available Immuno test strips are available for detection of this virus in the greenhouse. 

The following sites have good information on the problem and control measures:


Click image to enlarge

Pepino mosaic virus on tomato

Photo by Michael Bledsoe, USDA-ARS

Pepino mosaic virus on tomato leaves

Pepino mosaic virus on tomato leaf closeup

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service