How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Tomato Bushy Stunt

Pathogen: Tomato bushy stunt virus of the tombusvirus group

(Reviewed 12/13, updated 12/13)

In this Guideline:


Leaves on plants infected with Tomato bushy stunt virus are small in size, cupped, and curled downward. The youngest leaves are twisted and exhibit tip necrosis. A proliferation of lateral shoots leads to an overall bushy appearance. Lower leaves are chlorotic with a purple tinge. Plants may be stunted. Fruit yield is greatly reduced.

Comments on the Disease

There is no known vector of Tomato bushy stunt virus, although virus incidence is often associated with the soil and may be spread with irrigation water. Tomato bushy stunt virus apparently gains entry to host plants through wounds in damaged root cells. In California, tomato bushy stunt decline is limited to the Imperial Valley.


There is no genetic resistance in tomatoes to tomato bushy stunt, and no control measures have been developed. Avoid fields that have a history of tomato bushy stunt. Long crop rotations (4 years) may be helpful. Attempts to develop genetically engineered resistance for tomato bushy stunt in tomatoes are underway.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Tomato
UC ANR Publication 3470


R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
G. Miyao, UC Cooperative Extension, Solano and Yolo counties
K. V. Subbarao, USDA Agricultural Research Station, Salinas, CA
J. J. Stapleton, UC IPM Program and Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
B. J. Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County (powdery mildew on field-grown tomatoes)
Acknowledgments for contributions to Diseases:
B. W. Falk, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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