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Pepino mosaic virus


NOTE: Pepino mosaic virus has now been added to the EPPO A2 List. A full datasheet is being prepared, in the meantime you can view here the data which was previously available from the EPPO Alert List.

Why: Pepino mosaic virus (Potexvirus) came to our attention because it was recently found in Europe on glasshouse tomatoes, first in the Netherlands and UK, and then in other European countries. UK and Sweden suggested that it should be added to the EPPO Alert List.


Symptoms of Pepino mosaic virus
Courtesy: Dr Andrea Minuto
CERSAA, Albenga (IT)
View more pictures >>


Where: Originally described in Peru on pepino and first found in Europe in January 1999 in the Netherlands (in approximately 50 tomato glasshouses) and in United Kingdom (in 2 tomato glasshouses in the south of England).
EPPO region: Austria, (found in 2007, under eradication), Bulgaria (found in 1 location in 2004, under eradication), Croatia (eradicated), Cyprus (found in 2009), Czech Republic (found in 2008 in 1 site, under eradication), Greece (found in 2010), Italy (first found in 2001 in Sardegna, in 2005 in Sicilia, in 2011 in Campania), Finland (first found in 2001, again in 2003 and 2011, under eradication), France (2 isolated findings in 2000/2001 were subsequently eradicated. In 2002 and 2003, few outbreaks were detected in Centre and Bretagne - under official control), Germany (several cases have been reported in Hessen, Thüringen, Hamburg and Sachsen, eradication was achieved in most cases and the virus is considered as transcient), Hungary (first found in 2004 in one glasshouse), Netherlands (found in a few fruit-producing sites), Norway (found once in 2001 and eradicated), Poland (found in 2001 on 2 tomato plants, eradicated), Slovakia (found in 1 location in 2004, further surveys confirmed eradication), Spain (first found in 2000 - Almeria, Andalucia, Cataluña, Galicia, Comunidad Valenciana, Murcia and Canary Islands, so far with little economic impact), Sweden (found once in 2001 in 1 tomato glasshouse, no longer found), Switzerland (found in 2004, in the French-speaking part but then eradicated, other outbreaks have been found in Ticino and Zurich cantons), Turkey (detected in 2008/2009 in the Aegean region), United Kingdom (since 1999 several outbreaks were reported in various regions of the country, but most of them were eradicated at the end of each growing season - in 2011, only 3 outbreaks of PepMV were recorded).
Africa:South Africa.
Asia: Syria (found in 2008 near Latakia).
North America: In winter 2000, the presence of Pepino mosaic potexvirus was discovered in Canada, and its presence in several states of USA (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas) has now been confirmed.  It was also found for the first time in Mexico in 2010.
South America: Chile, Ecuador, Peru.


On which plants: Originally described on pepino (Solanum muricatum), it mainly affects glasshouse tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum).
Experimental host range includes mostly Solanaceous plants, including potato and tobacco (no data on Capsicum annuum, Solanum melongena). On potato, symptoms could be obtained with the 'pepino type strain' on S. tuberosum cvs. Merpata and Revolucion and with the 'tomato strain' on cvs. Maris Peer, Pentland Dell and Charlotte (but so far, the disease has never been seen in potato crops). In Italy, PepMV has been detected causing mild symptoms on basil (Ocimum basilicum). In Spain, studies have shown that the virus could be detected in several naturally infected weed species (e.g. Amaranthus, Chenopodium murale, Convolvulus arvensis, Echium creticum, Malva parviflora, Nicotiana glauca, Plantago afra, Rumex, Solanum nigrum and Sonchus oleraceus). Recently, surveys carried out in Peru showed that the virus was naturally present in wild Lycopersicon species (L. chilense, L. chmielewskii, L. parviflorum, L. peruvianum) as well as in cultivated tomato and pepino.

Symptoms of Pepino mosaic virus.
Courtesy: Dr Andrea Minuto
CERSAA, Albenga (IT)


Damage: In Peru, it caused a yellow mosaic in young leaves of pepino. In the Netherlands, affected tomato plants showed yellow spots on the leaves, mild interveinal chlorosis and in some cases minor leaf malformations. Fruits sometimes showed discoloration. It appears that losses were not very significant (only 5% of the growers reported economic losses of less than 5%). In UK, affected tomatoes showed distorted leaf development, with bubbling of the leaf surface and chlorosis. Affected plants were very stunted and distorted. It appears that the disease spreads very rapidly and that the virus can cause significant crop losses, if early action is not taken to eliminate infection.  Finally, a new tomato disease has been observed in Spain since 2001 (called torrao or cribado) and studies have showed that most diseased plants were infected with a newly described virus (Tomato torrado virus) and PepMV. Although further studies are needed, it seems that PepMV could interact at least with this new virus, and cause damage to tomato plants.

Transmission: Pepino mosaic potexvirus is transmitted by contact: contaminated tools, hands, clothing, direct plant-to-plant contact, and propagation (grafting, cuttings), as well as by seeds. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) used as pollinators in tomato crops can also spread the virus.

NOTE: Molecular studies showed that the Dutch and UK isolates were identical, but slightly different from the 'pepino type strain'. The pepino type strain only caused systemic symptomless infection on tomato. Further studies concluded that European tomato isolates differ from the type strain found on pepino, and belong to a distinct strain called tomato strain.

Pathway: Plants for planting (including vegetative parts used for propagation) of tomatoes, seeds, vegetables?, growing media ?

Possible risks: Tomato is a major crop in the EPPO region both indoor and outdoor. Pepino (Solanum muricatum) is grown on a very small scale in Spain, and experimentaly in a few European countries. So far, the disease has only been found under glass but eradication would probably be much more difficult if it was found on outdoor crops. Other Solanaceous crops may be at risk, and in particular potato, as it has been shown that certain cultivars expressed symptoms during inoculation tests. However, natural infections have never been observed in potato crops.

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Anonymous (2009) Incidencia de plagas y enfermedades en las Comunidades Autónomas en 2008. Phytoma-España no. 207, pp 14-50 & 208, pp 36-62 & 209, pp 44-52 & 210, pp 50-55.
Anonymous (2001) Balance fitosanitario de los cultivos españoles durante el año 2000. Phytoma-España no. 127 & 128, 18-46 &.26-51.
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Córdoba MC, Martínez-Priego L, Jordá C (2004) New natural hosts of Pepino mosaic virus in Spain. Plant Disease, 88(8), p 906.
Davino S, Bellardi MG, Agosteo GE, Iacono G, Davino M (2006) Characterization of a strain of Pepino mosaic virus found in Sicily. Journal of Plant Pathology 88(3 supplement), S31-S63.
Davino S, Accotto GP, Masenga V, Torta L, Davino M (2008) Basil (Ocimum basilicum), a new host of Pepino mosaic virus. New Disease Reports vol. 18 (August 2008 to January 2009).
Efthimiou KE, Gatsios AP, Aretakis KC, Papayiannis LC, Katis NI, (2011) First report of Pepino mosaic virus infecting greenhouse cherry tomatoes in Greece. Plant Disease 95(1), p 78.
EPPO (2000) Report of the 38the Meeting of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations, Tirana (AL), 2000-06-20/23. EPPO Technical Document, No. 1037, 2000-06.
European Commission, DG Health and Consumers Protection, Brussels, 2001-03 [Commission Decision (2000/325/EC) of 11 May 2000 authorising Member States to take measures provisionally against the introduction into, and the spread within the Community of Pepino mosaic virus as regards tomato plants, intended for planting, other than seeds.]
Fakhro A, Von Bargen S, Bandte M, Büttner C (2010) Pepino mosaic virus, a first report of a virus infecting tomato in Syria. Phytopathologia Mediterranea 49(1), 99-101
Forray, A.; Tüske, M.; Gáborjányi, R. (2004) [First report on the occurrence of Pepino mosaic virus in Hungary.] Növényvédelem, 40(9), 471-473.
French, C.J.; Bouthillier, M.; Bernardy, M.; Sabourin, M.; Johnson, R.C.; Masters, C.; Godkin, S.; Mumford, R. (2001) First report of Pepino mosaic virus in Canada and the United States. Plant Disease, 85(10), p 1121.
Hanssen IM, Mumford R, Blystad DR, Cortez I, Hasiow-Jaroszewska B, Hristova D, Pagan I, Pereira AM, Peters J, Pospieszny H, Ravnikar M, Stijger I, Tomassoli L, Varveri C, Vlugt R, van der Nielsen SL (2010) Seed transmission of Pepino mosaic virus in tomato. European Journal of Plant Pathology 126(2), 145-152.
Jones, R.A.C.; Koenig, R.; Lesemann, D.E. (1980) Pepino mosaic virus, a new potexvirus from pepino (Solanum muricatum). Annals of Applied Biology, 94, 61-68.
Jordá, C.; Lázaro, A.; Font, I.; Lacasa, A.; Guerrero, M.M.; Cano, A. (2000) Nueva enfermeded en el tomate. Phytoma-España, no. 119, 23-28.
Jordá, C.; Lázaro Pérez, A.; Martínez, P.V.; Lacasa, A. (2001) First report of Pepino mosaic virus on natural hosts. Plant Disease, 85(12), p 1292.
Jordá C, Martínez L, Córdoba MC, Martínez O, Juárez M, Font I, Lacasa A, Guerrero MM, Cano A, Monserrat A, Barceló N, Alcázar A (2003) El ‘cribado’ o ‘torrao’, ¿una nueva enfermedad del cultivo del tomate? Phytoma España no.152,130-136.
Lacasa, A.; Guerrero, M.M.; Hita, I.; Martínez, M.A.; Jordá, C.; Bielza, P.; Contreras, J.; Alcázar, A.; Cano, A. (2003) Implicaciones de los abejorros (Bombus spp.) en la dispersión del virus del mosaico del pepino dulce (Pepino mosaic virus) en cultivos de tomate. Boletín de Sanidad Vegetal – Plagas, 29(3), 393-403.
Ling KS, Zhang W (2011) First report of Pepino mosaic virus infecting tomato in Mexico. Plant Disease 95(8), 1035-1036.
Lockhart BE (2007) Characterization of a tymovirus occurring in greenhouse-grown tomatoes in Minnesota. Phytopathology 97(7 supplement), S67.
Mansilla, C.; Sánchez, F.; Ponz, F. (2003) The diagnosis of the tomato variant of pepino mosaic virus: an IC-RT-PCR approach. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 109(2), 139-146.
Maroon-Lango, Guaragna, M.A.; Jordan, R.L.; Bandla, M.; Marquardt, S. (2003) Detection and characterization of a US isolate of Pepino mosaic potexvirus. Abstract of a paper presented at the APS Annual Meeting (Charlotte, US, 2003-08-09/13). Phytopathology 93(6), supplement, S57.
Muñoz M, Bustos A, Cabrera M, López L (2002) Prospección del Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) en cultivos de tomate. Abstract of a paper presented at the XII Congreso Nacional de Fitopatología, 2002-10-01/04, Puerto Varas – X Región – Chile.
Özdemir S (2010) First report of Pepino mosaic virus in tomato in Turkey. Journal of Plant Pathology 92(4, Suppl.), S4.107.
Pagán I, Córdoba-Sellés MC, Martínez-Priego L, Fraile A, Malpica JM, Jordá C, García-Arenal F (2006) Genetic structure of the population of Pepino mosaic virus infecting tomato crops in Spain. Phytopathology 96(3), 274-279.
Papayiannis LC, Kokkinos CD, Alfaro-Fernández A (2012) Detection, characterization and host range studies of Pepino mosaic virus in Cyprus. European Journal of Plant Pathology 132(1), 1-7.
Parrella G, Cennamo G, De Blasio A, Spigno P (2011) Trovato in Campania il virus del mosaic del pepino su pomodoro. L’Informatore Agrario no. 12, 88-89.
Pospieszny, H.; Borodynko, N. (2002) Pepino mosaic virus. Progress in Plant Protection, 42(1), 83-87.
Pospieszny H, Borodynko N (2006) New Polish isolate of Pepino mosaic virus highly distinct from European Tomato, Peruvian and US2 strains. Plant Disease 90(8), p 1106.
Prohens, J.; Leiva-Brondo, M.; Soler, S.; Nuez, F. (2000) Virosis del pepino dulce. Phytoma-España, no. 119, 30-38.
Ramel ME, Gugerli P, Gilli C (2007) La mosaïque du pépino sur tomate. Revue suisse de Viticulture, Arboriculture, Horticulture 39(3), 211-212.
Roggero, P.; Masenga, V.; Lenzi, R.; Coghe, F.; Ena, S.; Winter, S. (2001) First report of Pepino mosaic virus in tomato in Italy. New Disease Reports, volume 3: February 2001 - July 2001.
Salazar LF (2006) Emerging and re-emerging potato diseases in the Andes. Potato Research 49(1), 43-47.
Salomone, A.; Roggero, P. (2002) Host range, seed transmission and detection by ELISA and lateral flow of an Italian isolate of Pepino mosaic potexvirus. Journal of Plant Pathology, 84(1), 65-68.
Shipp JL, Buitenhuis R, Stobbs L, Wang K, Kim WS, Ferguson G (2008) Vectoring of Pepino mosaic virus by bumble-bees in tomato greenhouses. Annals of Applied Biology 153(2), 149-155.
Soler S, López C, Nuez F (2005) Natural occurrence of viruses in Lycopersicon spp. in Ecuador. Plant Disease 89(11), p 1244.Soler S, López C, Nuez F (2005) Natural occurrence of viruses in Lycopersicon spp. in Ecuador. Plant Disease 89(11), p 1244.
Soler, S.; Prohens, J.; Díez, M.J.; Nuez, F. (2002) Natural occurrence of Pepino mosaic virus in Lycopersicon species in Central and Southern Peru. Journal of Phytopathology, 150(2), 49-53.
Stäubli A. (2005) Faits marquants dans la recherche 2004. Nouvelle virose sur tomate. Revue suisse de Viticulture, Arboriculture, Horticulture 37(3), p 150.
Van der Vlugt, R.A.A.; Cuperus, C.; Vink, J.; Stijger, I.C.M.M.; Lesemann, D.E.; Verhoeven, J.T.J.; Roenhorst, J.W. (2002) Identification and characterization of Pepino mosaic potexvirus in tomato. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, 32(3), 503-508.
Verbeek M, Dullemans AM, van den Heuvel JFJM, Maris PC, van der Vlugt RAA (2007) Identification and characterization of tomato torrado virus, a new plant picorna-like virus from tomato. Archives of Virology 152(5), 881-890.
EPPO Secretariat (questionnaire), 2002-06 & 2003-06
NPPO of AT, 2007-01.
NPPO of BG, 2004-05.
NPPO of CZ, 2008-07.
NPPO of DE, 2000-10, 2001-10, 2002-12.
NPPO of EE, 2002-09, 2004-11.
NPPO of FI, 2001-04, 2001-06, 2003-05, 2011-05.
NPPO of FR, 2000-03.
NPPO of HR, 2011-11.
NPPO of IT (Emilia-Romagna), 2005-03, 2011-01, 2011-07.
NPPO of NL, 1999-12.
NPPO of PL, 2003-03.
NPPO of SE, 2001-11, 2004-12.
NPPO of SK, 2004-02, 2004-11.
NPPO of UK, 1999-12, 2004/11, 2011-11.
Brèves du Ministère de l'Agriculture -
Universidad de Talca, Chile. Yantén Carreño Y (2005) Determinación de la presencia de Pepino mosaic potexvirus – PepMV en tomate en la zona central de Chile. Abstract.
Personal communication with Dr F. Nuez, Departamento de Biotecnologia, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, ES (2000-03)

EPPO RS 2000/003, 2000/062, 2000/132, 2000/171, 2001/041, 2001/087, 2001/088, 2001/128, 2001/148, 2001/157, 2001/158, 2001/159, 2002/056, 2002/092, 2002/093, 2002/149, 2003/002, 2003/043, 2003/067, 2003/074, 2003/075, 2003/106, 2003/107, 2003/132, 2004/008, 2004/037, 2004/076, 2004/146, 2004/147, 2004/148, 2004/149, 2004/167, 2005/025, 2005/072, 2005/144, 2006/056, 2006/237, 2007/006, 2007/079, 2007/080, 2007/107, 2008/070, 2008/144, 2009/011, 2009/072, 2009/142, 2010/084, 2011/003, 2011/011, 2011/118, 2011/150, 2011/170, 2011/171, 2011/201, 2011/245, 2011/014, 2012/075, 2012/076, 2012/077

Panel review date -
Entry date 2000-01.