WP 2: PepMV trials & economic impact

Objectives of Work Package 2:

  • Glasshouse trials to be completed over two full seasons to assess the economic impact of PepMV on late infected tomato crops. Replicate trials will be completed at four sites located in regions of intensive tomato production within the EU.
  • Combining trial data with results from cost benefit analyses to form an econometric model to assess the overall economic impact of PepMV to each member state.

Basic summary of work package 2:

A single variety of classic type tomato cv. Cedrico will be planted at sites in Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Identical trials will be conducted at each site over two growing seasons to assess the economic impact of PepMV to tomato production. All crops will be planted and grown according to local practices and managed using standard commercial protocols. Treatments will comprise of plants subjected to late inoculation of PepMV and an uninoculated control. Each treatment will be represented as four replicate plots set within a single completely randomised design. Each plot will consist of 20 tomato plants flanked by guard rows.

The presence and concentration of the virus in inoculated plants will be confirmed by ELISA. In addition, healthy plants will be tested monthly to confirm the absence of the virus. All plants will be monitored for the effects of the virus though the growing season, including symptom development, timing of flowering and resulting number of set fruit. In addition, fruit yield and quality data will be recorded weekly for the duration of natural crop production cycle at the growing site. Loggers will be used to collect environmental data hourly from each site including temperature, relative humidity and light intensity.

Conformity between sites is important when conducting multi-site trials. Therefore an important aspect will be to ensure sufficient protocols are in place to allow valid comparisons between sites. Inter-site variation will be minimised by holding a workshop for all scientists participating in data recording or site management prior to the initiation of the first trial. In addition, high quality cue-cards will be dispersed to all partners hosting trials and tomato consultants will conduct inspections through the season to ensure conformity between sites is maintained though each growing season. Finally, an interim meeting will be held between growing seasons 1 and 2 to discuss the results from the first year of trials.

A full cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of PepMV control measures will be completed. All data from the CBA and the trials will be incorporated in to an econometric model to assess the impact of PepMV infection in tomato for each member state participating in the study.

Deliverables of work package 2:

  • Completed glasshouse trials over two seasons on four different locations
  • Assessment of impact of PepMV on infected tomato crops
  • Econometric model for assessing economic impact
  • Cost benefit analysis of PepMV control measures