TOMATO YIELD AND SPOTTED WILT VIRUS INCIDENCE AMONG CULTIVARS IN A MISSISSIPPI TRIAL

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  • 1 Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, Crystal Springs, MS 39059-0231

Mississippi's two largest tomato-growing areas are in Smith and George Counties. The Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs is the closest vegetable research site to Smith County but does not share the same soil type. Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) reduces fruit yield and marketability, and its incidence appears to be increasing in the state. The objectives of this trial were 1) to determine fruit yield and TSWV incidence in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) grown in central Mississippi, and 2) compare yield and relative yield among cultivars and between locations. Tomato seedlings were transplanted to the field in April 2004 in Smith and Copiah County plots. Production practices included raised beds, black plastic mulch, drip irrigation, and fertilizer applied pre-plant and as side-dressings based on soil test and regionally recommended practices. TSWV incidence was recorded in each plot in Smith Co. in June 2004. In both locations, `Amelia' and `Mountain Spring' were among the top yielding entries. In Smith, the top entries also included `BHN 543' and two commercial experimental entries. In Copiah, `Florida 47 R', `Biltmore', `Mountain Fresh', and `BHN 543' also produced high marketable yields. `Florida 47R', `Bush Celebrity', and `Mountain Fresh' were among the poorest yielding varieties in Smith County. Incidence of TSWV was not formally rated in Copiah. In Smith, percent symptomatic plants per plot were negatively correlated with yield. Symptoms were found on entries reportedly resistant or tolerant to TSWV.

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