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Pignola, Italy

Lahoz E.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Carrieri R.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Fanigliulo A.,Bioagritest Srl
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Many diseases occur on tomato plants in the Mediterranean basin. In the last years economic losses due to several fungal and viral pathogens that had, until now, scarce economic concern have been detected. Besides late blight, fungal diseases such as Alternaria early blight, Colletotrichum anthrachnose on leaves and fruits and corky root, Phytophthora parasitica and isolates of P. capsici, that could be dangerous on grafted tomato in Italy, are emerging diseases of processing tomato. In greenhouse, Cladosporium leaf spot, powdery mildew, early blight, Dydimella stem and fruit rot, corky root and fusarium crown and root rot are the diseases with the most increase in the last five years. Between viruses, the most important for tomato production are actually Tomato spotted wilt virus, endemic and the greatest threat for tomato crops allover tomato cultivated areas within the Mediterranean basin, the whitefly transmitted Tomato yellow leaf curl virus and Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus, endemic in the Mediterranean basin and particularly in Italy and Spain. The most common and widespread are the aphid-borne Cucumber mosaic virus (often in association with a necrogenic RNA satellite) and Potato virus Y, both with necrogenic and non-necrogenic variants. Pepino mosaic virus, included in the EPPO alert list, is also present and its further diffusion would compromise tomato production in all interested areas.

Fanigliulo A.,Bioagritest Srl | Comes S.,Bioagritest Srl | Viggiano A.,Bioagritest Srl | Crescenzi A.,University of Basilicata
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Bioagritest phytosanitary laboratory is a private owned complex multifunctional scientific-research application laboratory, located in the core of southern Italy, in Basilicata Region. It follows the newest achievements in the field of phytopathology and disposes of full equipment for diagnosis, control and prevention from diseases and pests at different crops in due time, caused by phytopatogen agents of bacterial, viral and fungal origin, viroids, nematodes, insects and so on. Its mission is the improvement of the quality and quantity of agricultural productions. This is achieved by the continual improvement of laboratory quality for complete customer satisfaction. In recent years, foci of infection caused by two quarantine pests have been identified in the areas monitored by Bioagritest: the Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) and the bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subs. michiganensis (Cmm). Moreover, the presence of Tuta absoluta - a serious threat to tomato production - was found in several areas of southern Italy in which the tomato is grown in greenhouses and in open field. For these reasons, to prevent the spread of the above mentioned pathogens and pests in the areas in which they were found, and to safeguard nurseries and consequently agricultural productions, Bioagritest put in place integrated plant defense strategies for monitoring them and for their early detection. As result, about 5000 million tomato plants were certificated from the sanitary point of view within July 2010. Visual inspections and instrumental assays applied to tomato lots up to 100,000 plants each, allowed to assign an accordant phytosanitary status (no virus and viroids presence, no fungal or bacterial symptom, no damage induced by insects) to 97,42% of the assayed lots. Neither PSTVd nor Cmm have ever been detected in tomato seedlings. The control of raw materials, and mainly seeds, represents the cornerstone of the phytosanitary prevention applied, as demonstrated by the fact that diseases caused by seed-borne pathogens have never been detected neither in greenhouse nor in open field, in plants originated by seedlings phytosanitary certified by Bioagritest.

Fanigliulo A.,Bioagritest Srl | Massa C.G.,Bioagritest Srl | Pacella R.,Bioagritest Srl | Crescenzi A.,University of Basilicata
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

A study was performed in 2007 and 2008 by Bioagritest, in different locations in southern Italy (in Apulia and Campania regions) according to EPPO guidelines and Principles of Good Experimental Practice (GEP). Its purpose was to evaluate the efficacy of systemic insecticides applied by radical in containing viral infections transmitted by aphid vectors in tomato and induced by Cucumber mosaic virus and Potato virus Y. A local cultivar of tomato extremely susceptible to viral infections was used. Experimental design consisted in random blocks, in 4 repetitions. Two dosages of 3 different insecticides, active ingredients Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam and Flonicamid, were compared with an untreated control. The experiment consisted in 3 phases. The first phase was performed in a thermo-conditioned greenhouse with double doors and anti-aphid nets: tomato plants were treated with two different doses of the insecticides, through absorption by radical by immersion of the polystyrene alveolate containers in a concentrated solution containing the insecticides; in the second phase plants, arranged along the edge of a canal close to a tomato field, were exposed to aphid infestation for 20, 34 and 48 days. At the end of each period of exposure, the plants were treated with a broad-spectrum insecticide and then transferred to the laboratory. Here (third phase) they were left 15 days in a thermo-conditioned greenhouse to allow the development of eventual viral infections and then subjected to ELISA to verify this possibility. Evaluations have been realized about the efficacy of the tested insecticides in controlling the aphids infestation, the spread of viruses transmitted by aphids, and in the induction of any phytotoxic effects. All the treatments, which all differed significantly from the check: the method of insecticide administration, radical prior to transplant, has shown excellent efficacy in containing both primary and secondary aphid infestations. The insecticidal action was excellent up to a month after treatment and very effective for another 3 weeks. The action of aphids containment showed no significant differences between the two dosages of the different formulates compared. However, containment of viral infections carrier by aphids (CMV and PVY) showed greater efficacy when the double dosage was used.

Fanigliulo A.,Bioagritest Srl | Mancino O.,Bioagritest Srl | Cestari P.,Syngenta | Crescenzi A.,University of Basilicata
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Blossom-end rot (BER) is caused by a localized Ca deficiency in the developing tomato fruits. It begins with light tan, water-soaked areas that can then enlarge and turn black and leathery in appearance. Most often the problem occurs at the blossom end of the fruit, but on occasion it can occur on the side of the fruit. Since it has been hypotesised that the SAR inducer Acibenzolar-S-Methyl (ASM) increases the resistance of plants against abiotic stresses such as drought, cold, heat and salinity, a study was performed in 2012 with the purpose of evaluating its effect in the induction of resistance to this disorder in tomato grown under tunnel. ASM 2.5 g/hl was applied in five different application timings, every ten days, starting from the day prior to transplantation. Three different assessments of eventual phytotoxic effects on the vegetative part of the plant and of the degree of BER on each fruit cluster were carried out respectively 7 days after the 4th application and 10 and 30 days after the last one. No phytotoxicity was observed. Our preliminary results clearly demonstrate that tomato grown under tunnel, treated with ASM, shows a substantial reduction of sensitivity to BER. In particular, a statistically significant difference in BER with the untreated control was present on the 1st fruit cluster, decreasing toward the 2nd, and not detectable on the 3rd and 4th ones, may be because of the strong reduction of the disorder at this stage, and most probably also because of the reduction of the effect of ASM in plants about one month after the last application. In the light of the results obtained, studies are in progress aiming at verifying the effect of application timing of ASM on the control of physiological disorders from water stress, the dose effect of ASM application, the effect of different environmental conditions with particular reference to the temperature, and the efficacy of treatment with ASM for the control of water stress in tomato in combination with chemicals capable of mobilizing or supplying Ca to tomato plants.

Crescenzi A.,University of Basilicata | Fanigliulo A.,Bioagritest Srl | Viggiano A.,Bioagritest Srl
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

In summer 2012, typical symptoms of Tomato spotted wilt disease occurred on tomato plants of different resistant cultivars (carrying the Sw5 gene), in different fields in Foggia province (Apulia region, southern Italy). The percentage of symptomatic plants was 20-30% and, in particular cases of advanced stage of cultivation, it reached up to 50% at the end of cycle. All TSWV isolates induced similar, very serious, systemic symptoms of bronzing in all resistant, infected tomato hybrids. Leaf extracts from these samples were tested by ELISA for the detection of TSWV, CMV, TMV, ToMV, INSV, PVY, AMV, PepMV, PVX, TYLCV, TYLCSV, PZSV and by molecular hybridization for the detection of PSTVd and CLVd. TSWV was detected in all the tested samples. The correspondent virus isolate was inoculated mechanically and by Frankliniella occidentalis on to a set of different tomato hybrids, in order to investigate for its ability to overcome the resistance gene Sw5, beyond that on some herbaceous test plants. The TSWV isolate, after three single lesion passages in Nicotiana glutinosa, induced symptoms typical of TSWV in mechanically inoculated seedlings grown from the same seed lots as the field-grown tomato plants. The virus isolate, designated TSWV-RB-TI, inoculated to plants of five commercial tomato hybrids carrying the Sw5 gene (that had previously shown resistance to different TSWV isolates), and five pepper hybrids carrying the Tsw gene, was later detected by ELISA in most inoculated tomato plants of each hybrid: systemic infection occurred a few days before local lesions appeared in inoculated leaves as a consequence of the typical hypersensitivity reaction caused by the Sw5 gene. By contrast, pepper hybrids carrying the Tsw gene were uninfected by TSWV-RB-TI isolate. The RB isolate did not differ noticeably in transmission efficiency when it was tested with the thrips F. occidentalis. This is not the first report of a TSWV strain infecting tomato plants carrying the Sw5 gene. Our observations demonstrate that new evolved strains of TSWV have emerged in southern Italy in 2012, able to overcome the Sw5 resistance gene in tomato hybrids previously known to be resistant to the virus.

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