Symptom Development and Susceptibility of Dwarf Cherry Tomato to Tomato Irregular Ripening, A Fruit Disorder Induced by Silverleaf Whitefly

in HortScience
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  • 1 Univ. of Florida, IFAS, Gainesville, FL 32611; and R.K. Yokomi, USDA, Orlando, FL 32803

Silverleaf whitefly (SLW) (Bemisia argentifolii Bellows and Perring) feeding has been associated with development of tomato irregular ripening (TIR) symptoms. Four dwarf cultivars of cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) were infested with adult SLW to observe oviposition preference, tolerance and TIR symptom development. Oviposition preference was observed at low SLW population. Florida Petite was the most preferred and Micro-Tom the least preferred cultivar, with Florida Lanai and Florida Basket intermediate. Each cultivar exhibited TIR symptoms associated with feeding by the SLW. TIR fruit symptoms were expressed as longitudinal red streaks with yellow, green, pink or red blotches externally, and white, yellow or green tissue internally. External TIR symptoms ranged from 32% (Micro-Tom) to 82% (Florida Basket). However, external symptoms disappeared from 34% (Florida Lanai) to 56% (Micro-Tom) of the fruits during ripening. SLW infested plants had 82% (Florida Lanai) to 99% (Florida Basket) of fruits with internal white tissue regardless of external symptoms. Tomatoes with TIR symptoms rarely ripened to a mature red, and sometimes had empty locules, were smaller in size and were seedless.

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