The main host of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is tomato, but the disease can also affect French bean, chilli, eggplant and capsicum. Some weeds and ornamental plants such as lisianthus and petunias can carry the virus and may not show obvious symptoms.
What to look for
- Tomato plants infected early are severely stunted and will not produce fruit.
- Leaflets are small and yellowed with edges that curl upwards.
- Flowers either do not develop or fall off.
- When older plants are infected, fruit that is already forming ripens normally, but no new fruit is formed after the infection.
- TYLCV can be confused with several other conditions such as tomato big bud, herbicide damage and phosphate or magnesium deficiency.
- In infected beans, leaves thicken and curl upwards, and abnormal side shoots form.
Survival and spread
- TYLCV is spread by the insect silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci B biotype).
- Silverleaf whiteflies pick up the virus by feeding on infected host plants. The whiteflies then spread the virus to healthy plants which show the symptoms 10 to 21 days later.
- Silverleaf whiteflies are common in Carnarvon and feed on many types of plants.
- TYLCV is not seed-borne or spread by handling or pruning.
- Infected weeds such as blackberry nightshade and Malva parviflora can act as reservoirs of the virus.
TYLCV can completely destroy tomato crops and causes disease in French bean, chilli, capsicum and some ornamental plants.
Status in Western Australia
Western Australia's Pest Freedom for TYLCV is supported by general and specific surveillance, specific import requirements to prevent its entry, and legal requirements to report any occurrences of the pest.
Report suspect disease
It is important that any suspect disease occurrence is reported. Early detection and eradication will help protect Western Australian potato growers. Please make a report using MyPestGuide or contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) to report this pest.