France: Virus affects melons, cucumbers and courgettes

The virus, identified in the South of France, does not pose a risk to human health

22 October 2020
By Joanna York

A virus that attacks melons, cucumbers and courgettes has been identified in the south of France, the ministry for agriculture announced yesterday (October 21).

The virus, known as Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus (ToLCNDV), has been identified on courgette leaves in one plot in Occitanie and three in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The infected vegetables were found in production and seed selling establishments, but the plots concerned were not intended to be used for the production of commercial seeds. 

‘No risk’ to human health 

The ministry confirmed that the virus poses “no risk to human health”.

Measures have been taken to halt the spread of the virus through tools such as scissors and secateurs, and by the aleurode Bemisia tabaci – a small, white fly that can transport it from plant to plant. 

Infected plants will be destroyed on the plots in which they are growing, to try and stamp out the virus.

An investigation is underway to determine the source of the infections and extra surveillance measures will be put in place in the countryside, the ministry said. 

 

Can damage and even destroy fruits

Symptoms of ToLCNDV include yellow mosaic patterns forming, leaf curling, vein swelling, plant stunting and even the complete suppression of fruit production. On melons, cucumbers and courgettes it can cause skin roughness and longitudinal cracking. 

The virus is present in European countries including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, but has not previously been seen in France.

In India, it frequently affects tomato plants. 

Related stories

Bacteria deadly to olive trees found in southern France

French farmer’s long fight against Monsanto draws to close

France warned over poisonous autumnal vegetables

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Income Tax in France 2021 (for 2020 income)*
Featured Help Guide
Order your Income Tax in France guide now for immediate digital access
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now