Relationship between Viral Infection and Heavy Metals in Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Plant Protection Institute, BG-2230 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria


MITEVA, E., D. HRISTOVA and S. MANEVA, 2001. Relationship between viral infection and heavy metals in tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum). Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 7: 435-440

Plant behavior of two tomato cultivars was studied as a response to the application of two stress factors – excess of heavy metals and viral infection. The plants were cultivated in glasshouse on soil contaminated with excess of Cu and Pb. The half of the experimental plants were infected with the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and the rest with tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). The changes of plant morphological parameters and virus concentration were studied. It was established that the simultaneously plant treatment with heavy metals and their infection with the viruses resulted in a relationship between the two stress factors. This enhanced the negative effect of plants, i.e. limitation of root system and stem part development. The combination of both stress factors causes a stronger effect on plants, compared to this one resulting from their independent application. The viral infections and heavy metals used, applied separately and in combination, cause stronger deformations to plants of cv.' Ideal' than to plants of cv. 'Miliana'. Heavy metals have a specific effect on tomato growth and stimulate viral infections development to a different degree.

Key words: heavy metal, viral infections, soil contamination