How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Tomato Big Bud

Pathogen: Beet leafhopper transmitted viresence agent (BLTVA)

(Reviewed 12/13, updated 12/13)

In this Guideline:


The most striking symptom of tomato big bud is the large, swollen green buds that fail to develop normally and do not set fruit. Apical stems are thick and assume an upright growth habit. Infected plants appear bushy because of shortened internodes and small leaves. Leaves are distorted and yellow-green. Aerial roots may develop on stems.

Comments on the Disease

Tomato big bud is an uncommon disease in California except in western Fresno County where it occurs regularly. Beet leafhopper transmitted viresence agent, a phytoplasma organism, is transmitted by the beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus. Beet leafhopper transmitted viresence agent has a wide host range, including many vegetables and weeds. The disease is dependent on populations of the leafhopper and reservoirs of the mycoplasmalike organism.


Management of tomato big bud is not practiced in California.


[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

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