Greenhouse Canada

CFIA releases factsheet on ToBRFV

June 25, 2019  By Canadian Food Inspection Agency (edited)

Tomato plants infected with tomato brown rugose fruit virus. (a, d) Brown rugose symptoms developed on fruit. (b, c) Chlorotic spots on fruit. (a, e-g) Mosaic pattern developed on leaves and narrowing accompanied by mottling leaves. (g) Necrotic symptoms on pedicle (stem), calyces and petioles. (Source: Dombrovsky and Smith 2017 [CC BY 3.0]). Image by: CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released a factsheet on the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).

First detected in Israel in 2014, it has since been detected in several other areas of the globe, including Europe, the Middle East and North America.

While the virus does not pose a food safety risk, ToBRFV can severely affect crop production and the marketability of tomatoes.


According to the factsheet, this virus mainly affects tomatoes and peppers. Some weed species, such as black nightshade, are known carriers of the virus.
The virus is easily transmitted from plant to plant through contact with contaminated tools, equipment, workers and visitors, soil, and infected plants and seeds. This virus is easily spread in greenhouses when plants are thinned, transplanted, pruned or trellised. A recent study shows that bumblebees may also transmit the virus.

To date, outbreaks of the virus have predominately been reported on greenhouse tomatoes. Extensive outdoor establishment of this virus has not been reported.

The leaves of infected plants are mildly to severely discoloured, with dark green bulges and narrowing.The affected fruit show crinkled brown or yellow spots. These fruit symptoms significantly reduce the market value or make the fruit non‐marketable.

Strict biosecurity measures are required to limit the introduction and spread of this virus in greenhouses. Growers should ensure they are using seeds and seedlings from trusted sources.

If you think you have found tomato brown rugose fruit virus, contact your local CFIA office.

Visit the CFIA factsheet here

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