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Tomato yellow leaf curl management

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

Recognize the problem

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a very common and destructive disease of tomato. Young plants that become infected fail to grow and become short and bushy. The leaves of infected plants are small and yellow between the veins and curl upwards forming a cup-shape.  Infected plants produce fewer flowers and fruits.


The virus attacks a wide range of crops including bell pepper, morning glory and billy goat weed. The virus lives inside the plant and cannot be spread in soil, water or by the wind. It is moved between plants by whiteflies and thrips. It is not transmitted by seed or through damage to the plant. The virus cannot be controlled directly with chemical sprays, but the insects that carry the disease can be controlled to prevent further spread. Once a plant becomes infected it cannot be cured and must be removed. High levels of infection normally occur during fruit set.


  • Use resistant varieties such as DV-2962, SAVIOR, PT 18. Contact the nearest extension officers for further information.
  • Remove and compost infected plants
  • Between tomato crops remove volunteer or leftover tomato plants
  • Do not rotate with other alternative hosts of the virus such as red pepper
  • Regularly monitor populations of whiteflies and thrips in the crop as this can give early warning of a disease outbreak. Monitoring is done through the use of yellow sticky traps, or by shaking the plant by hand. Shaking the plants causes the adult whiteflies to fly from the plant.
  • If you see whiteflies on more than 5 plants or if more than 10 are caught by the trap within a day, consider using an insecticide spray such as Thiamethoxam (pre-harvest interval 7 days)
  • The traps can be easily made by spreading sticky material (e.g. Tanglefoot or cooking oil) onto one side of a yellow card (25 cm length x 15 cm width). The trap should be placed at about 20 cm above the top of the crop with 20 traps/ha.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Vietnam

Authors: Dinh Xuan Hoan, Vu Duy Hien, Dao Thi Hang

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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