Anti-viral tech can reduce pathogen transmission
Added on 12 April 2023
For the last several years, Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable growers have been dealing with COVID-19 and Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV), first detected in Ontario in 2019. ToBRFV causes mosaic and distortion of leaves, as well as brown, wrinkly spots on the fruit, making them unmarketable.
A big challenge for growers is that ToBRFV can survive for long periods on surfaces away from tomato plants and can be easily picked up by people, tools, and equipment – increasing the chance of infection and spread through the greenhouse. COVID-19 has been a leading threat to human health, food security, and business continuity since it emerged on the global stage early in 2020.
With both pathogens, time was of the essence to keep the spread and impact to a minimum, leaving the industry searching for quick solutions. Funding from the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) helped OGVG test the suitability of various anti-viral technologies as possible tools to control the spread of both pathogens.
Image by Freepik