Beating Begomoviruses (AVRDC)
Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)-transmitted begomovirus diseases have emerged as major constraints to the production and quality of hot pepper (Capsicum annuum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and mungbean (Vigna radiata) crops in tropical Asia. Currently, there is no reliable treatment to cure a plant of any virus infection. Two complementary control strategies can provide some protection: a) preventing transmission of begomoviruses to the crop by the whitefly vectors, and b) deploying natural resistance to the begomoviruses.
Plant breeders are using marker-assisted selection to incorporate begomovirus resistance into locally preferred tomato, hot pepper and mungbean varieties. Vegetable growers are adopting sustainable, integrated virus and vector management practices, including the use of appropriate resistant varieties. By increasing the land and labor productivity of vegetables through the use of plant disease resistance and disease control strategies that use pesticides less and more appropriately, the project is contributing to improving food security and the promotion of agriculture and rural development, while at the same time protecting the health of consumers and the environment.