The Case of the Curling Tomato Leaves. The following information will be given by the client IF the MGs ask for it:

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Time of year: April May, 2014 The Case of the Curling Tomato Leaves Shirley Betournay, November 2014 The client s statement of the problem: My tomato plants have curled up leaves! The problem is progressing
Time of year: April May, 2014 The Case of the Curling Tomato Leaves Shirley Betournay, November 2014 The client s statement of the problem: My tomato plants have curled up leaves! The problem is progressing and now seems to be including not only the mature leaves but the new emerging leaves. When I planted them, the leaves were open and healthy looking. The following information will be given by the client IF the MGs ask for it: Plant identification: Species and variety: Plant age: Location: Tomato Beef Steak, Grape, Bigger Bush, Italian Drying Tomato This year s seedlings transplanted in early May Raised garden containers 25 H X 17 D with at least 9 hours of sun exposure. Tomato plants were grown in a hoop house most of May. As the temps rose both day and night, I removed the hoop house structure. Plant and its community: Number of plants of this species and variety: One plant of each variety Parts of plant affected: Leaves Symptoms: Signs: Pattern of damage: Time development: Leaves of the Grape and Italian tomato plants are curled or in a state of curling. All four plants look healthy, are maturing, producing flowers, and have juvenile set tomatoes. None observed All the leaves are curled or in a state of curling throughout the entire Grape and Italian tomato plants. Noticed first on the Italian plant - there were a few leaves curling upward a couple of days later, and the same thing was starting on the Grape tomato plant. Within a week, all the leaves were curled on the Italian and there was a definite increase in curling on the Grape cultivar. As the curling increased, the plants looked less healthy but retained the tomatoes. Recent events in the area: Nothing abnormal about the garden. Watering method and frequency: Drip irrigation to keep foliage dry. June irrigation program set for every third day. Fertilization: Weather conditions: Compost and NPK added to containers prior to planting. Spring with up-and-down temperatures day vs. night-time. A couple of days, we had some really cool June night time temps but warm daytime temps. The Master Gardener s conclusions: Reasoning: Diagnosis: It was suggested that my tomatoes had Curly Top Virus! Because this is a virus, I quickly took out and got rid of the Italian tomato to prevent the spread of the virus. As soon as I did this, the grape tomato seemed to be showing leaves that were not rolling/ in fact un-rolled. I chose to experiment with the grape tomato plant and isolated it from the rest of the garden. To my surprise, the tomato plant rebounded and had a full summer of tasty, healthy, grape tomatoes even though it lost many of its leaves. I now doubt that my tomatoes had any virus. There was NO EVIDENCE OF DICOLORATION OF LEAF! which is a symptom of Curly Top Virus. (Although the photo shows a light edge on the tomato leaves, this is a lighting issue and not a symptom.) Physiological Leaf Roll of Tomato The severity of leaf roll appears to be cultivar dependent. Indeterminate cultivars selected for high yield tend to be more susceptible than the determinate, also called bush , varieties. Although the leaf roll symptoms are similar to those caused by certain viruses (curly top and yellow leaf curl), plants with leaf roll symptoms in the Pacific Northwest in 2009 tested negative for viruses. Current knowledge of tomato physiological leaf roll indicates tomato yield and fruit quality are not affected by this disorder. The roll starts with upward cupping at the leaf margins followed by inward rolling of the leaves. Lower leaves are affected first, and can recover if environment conditions and cultural factors are adjusted to reduce stress. New growth may not exhibit continued leaf roll. Source of the diagnosis: In the Plant Disease PNW, if one searches on tomato leaves, physiological leaf roll appears on the second page of the list. It links to a very brief description of the problem without a photo. Much better is PNW616. Access document through OSU Extension Catalog ( One of the authors is Brooke Edmunds. Recommendations: -Plant determinate cultivars. -Plant in well-drained soil and maintain uniform, adequate soil moisture (1inch per week) during the growing season. - Do not over-fertilize with nitrogen and provide appropriate phosphorus. -Avoid severe pruning. - Maintain temperatures below 95 degrees. For Comparison study Curly Top: Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)-curly Top Photo part of OSU Extension Plant Pathology Slide Cause The Beet curly top virus, which also infects a wide range of crops such as bean, beet, cucurbits, spinach, squash, and pepper. The virus is disseminated by the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus. There are no reports of seed transmission. The disease may be severe in central and eastern Oregon and Washington. It occurs in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, especially the northern valley when winds blowing through the Columbia Gorge transport the beet leafhopper from eastern Oregon. The leafhopper takes up the virus when feeding and keeps it in its body the rest of its life. Normally, the virus must incubate 21 to 24 hours or longer in the insect's body before it can be transmitted to another plant, but if the temperature is very high incubation may be reduced to 4 to 6 hours. Leafhopper eggs never carry the virus. Temperature affects the interval between the insect's feeding and the appearance of curly top symptoms. If it is very hot, symptoms may show in 24 hours; with normal temperatures, in 7 to 14 days; in cool weather, up to 30 days. The disease is in areas where light is intense, summer heat is prolonged, relative humidity is low, and evaporation is rapid. In years when average relative humidity is 35%, the disease is very severe; when it is over 50%, there is almost no curly top. Shading, which lowers light intensity and retards evaporation, probably delays leafhopper visits, decreases the infection rate, and reduces symptom expression. Symptoms Leaflets roll up and twist sharply, exposing their undersurfaces. Foliage is stiff and leathery, and the entire plant is a peculiar dull yellow. Leaflet veins purple, and the plant often is stunted. Many roots and rootlets die, as do severely affected plants. Can be confused with aster yellows.
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