On the hunt for yellow leaf curl

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus is a regulated plant disease in NSW, and this helps ensure NSW remains free of the disease. Tomato leaf curl disease causes serious disease in tomato crops and can also affect French bean, chilli, eggplant, capsicum and ornamentals such as lisianthus, poinsettias and related plants (Euphorbia spp.)

Tomato leaf curl disease can be confused with several other tomato conditions. The most obvious symptoms in tomato plants are small leaves that become yellow between the veins. These then curl upwards and towards the middle of the leaf.

Tomato leaf curl disease is not transmitted in seed, soil or from plant to plant by handling. It is harboured in infected host plants, some of which may be hosts that do not show symptoms.

The virus causing tomato leaf curl disease is spread from plant to plant by Silver Leaf Whitefly (SLW). SLW is a severe pest of tomatoes and other vegetable crops in the coastal and inland areas of Queensland and New South Wales.

To help support NSW’s claim for freedom from the disease, the North Coast Local Land Services plant biosecurity officer and the DPI plant biosecurity team recently visited farms and community gardens in northern NSW to undertake targeted surveillance for the disease.

This surveillance will expand on public awareness programs already underway, educating community gardeners on the importance of reporting suspect plant pests.

Leaf Curl

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