Lycopersicum virus 5 (Samuel, Bald et Eardley) Smith - Stolbur of Tomato

Systematic position.

Class Mollicutes, family Spiroplasmataceae.

Biological group.

Obligate parasite.

Morphology and biology.

Microorganisms of rounded, oval and dumbbell shape, 300-800 nm in size, or having helicoid form, 100-170 nm in width and more than 3000 nm in length. The agent is located in phloem cells of diseased plants. Affected tomatoes display a great variety of symptoms. Two forms are more often allocated; the first one is characterized by the increased branching and by leaf curliness, overgrowth of sepals, green petals of corolla, proliferation of pistil becoming vegetative shoot; the second form is accompanied with growth delay, with thickening and reduction of leaf plates, with anthocyan coloring and reduction of flowers, and with premature death of plants. The agent spread occurs in nature from weeds through leafhoppers to weeds. Cultural plants are dead ends of the infection, as the agent does not spread with seeds. For the first time the Stolbur biology was investigated by K.S.Sukhov and A.M.Vovk (1949).


The Stolbur of Tomatoes is widely distributed in Astrakhan, Volgograd Region, Krasnodar Territory and other areas of the Northern Caucasus, in Armenia, Georgia, and in the South of Ukraine.


The disease is mainly distributed in southern zones of Russia, being connected with the area of leafhoppers (Hyalesthes obsoletus and H. mlocosevizi) - the main vectors of the agent.

Economic significance.

The Stolbur belongs to diseases forming natural foci, therefore, yield losses reach 50-60% in some years, and yield losses in Astrakhan Region reached once to 80%.

Related references:

Bogoyavlenskii A.A. 1942. About Stolbur of Tomatoes. Doklady VASKHNIL 5-6: 41-43 (in Russian).
Khidesheli Z.G. 1990. Mycoplasma disease - Stolbur of Tomatoes and pepper in conditions of Georgia and its control. PhD Thesis. Tbilisi: GruzNIIZR, 22 p. (in Russian).
Nikitina R.N. 1963. Mosaic and Stolbur of Tomatoes in the south of Ukraine and their control. PhD Thesis, Kiev: UkrNIIOZ, 24 p. (in Russian).
Pogosyan A.V. 1988. Stolbur of Tomatoes and a potato in Armenian SSR. PhD Thesis. Erevan: ArmNIIZR, 22 p. (in Russian).
Samsonova L.N., Tsyplenkov A.E., Yakutkina T.A. 2001. Diagnostics of virus and phytoplasma diseases of vegetable cultures and potato. Saint-Petersburg: VIZR, 50 p. (in Russian).
Sukhov K.S., Vovk A.M. 1947. News on Stolbur of Tomatoes. Sovetskaya Agronomiya (Moscow) 4: 72-75 (in Russian).
Sukhov K.S., Vovk A.M. 1949. Stolbur of Solanaceae. Moscow & Leningrad: AN SSSR, 102 p. (in Russian).
Tsyplenkov A.E. 1976. Mycoplasma and Rickettsia - possible agents of Stolbur of plants. Sel.skokhozyaistvennaya biologiya 3: 337-346 (in Russian).
Tsyplenkov A.E., Fedotina V.L. 1973. About nature and classification of two forms of Stolbur of Tomatoes. Biologicheskie nauki 5: 100-106 (in Russian).
Valenta V., Mishiga S. 1962. Some features of Stolbur virus. Bulletin VIR (Leningrad) 10: 31-32 (in Russian).
Vovk A.M., Nikiforova G.S. 1955. Researches of Stolbur virus in electronic microscope. Doklady AN SSSR 102(4): 839-840 (in Russian).

© Tsyplenkov A.E.

Picture is taken from Sukhova and Vovk (1949).

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