Agriculture: Tomato Pest Management Guidelines

Tomato Bushy Stunt

  • Tomato bushy stunt virus of the tombusvirus group
  • Symptoms and Signs

    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.

    Text Updated: 12/13