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Pepino mosaic virus

EPPO code


Common names

English names: Pepino mosaic virus
Nordic names: Pepinomosaikvirus (DK)
Estonian name: Pepiinomosaiikviirus

Major host plants

The virus was originally described on pepino (Solanum muricatum), but the main host is glasshouse tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum). In Spain, symptomless infections of PepMV were found in weed species close to glasshouses with PepMV-affected tomato plants. Other members of Solanacea have been proved susceptible with artificial inoculation.


Symptom development may be influenced by the light intensity. Symptoms are more readily seen during fall and winter when light levels are lower. During the warmer, brighter months, plants may be infected without showing symptoms.

Initial symptoms usually appear 2 – 3 weeks after infection. Symptoms generally include nettle-like shoots, dwarfing, yellow or necrotic spots and a yellow mosaic of varying intensity on the leaves. Other symptoms are leaf bubbling or curling. Stems and flower clusters may have brown streaks which may affect the development of flowers and fruits. Fruits may show uneven ripening and marbling (discoloration of yellow-red mosaic patterns).

Courtesy of EPPO - Dr Andrea Minuto, Centro di Saggio, CERSAA, Albenga (IT)

See more pictures on EPPO´s website



PepMV was originally described in Peru on pepino. In Europe, the virus was first found in 1999 in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom. Since then, PepMV has been found in many European countries.

A map can be downloaded from EPPO’s website. See instructions here.


Leaves, roots and fruits of infected plants can contain high concentrations of virus. The virus remains viable in dry plant material for as long as 3 months. Virus particles from roots are likely to be released into the soil or drainage water. PepMV can be present on the outside of seeds while there is doubt about transmission inside the seed. Virus is reported to remain infectious on clothing for at least 14 days.

Major pathway(s)

PepMV is highly transmissible. It spreads easily mechanically via contaminated tools, hands, clothing, and by plant-to-plant contact. Bumble bees used as pollinators have been shown to spread the PepMV between tomato plants. The virus is spread by transport of infected young plants, by infected grafts, cuttings, fruits, and contaminated crates and packaging materials. Although seed production by the acid-extraction method is highly effective as a phytosanitary measure, there is a risk that just one seed escapes sanitation. Subsequently the plant germination from such seed may infect the entire crop.

Detection and inspection

Detection of the virus in commercial tomato depends on field inspection for typical symptoms. Seeds from risk deliverances may be tested.

Pest status and importance

Tomato crops seem to be most at risk in Europe. However, there have been conflicting reports as to the damage caused by infection.

Source of information

See further information here:

Author: Eigil De Neegaard and Elise T. Yamamoto Buch
Editor: Dorthe Vestergaard