PMV®-01 for tomato growing

Discover PMV®-01
Contact our experts

What is PMV®-01?

PMV®-01 is a vaccination strategy that has been used since 2011 in greenhouse tomato cultivation to offer protection against the highly infectious Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV). This vaccination strategy offers a sustainable and biological way to avoid serious quality and production losses caused by PepMV.

PMV®-01 is the result of 10 years of scientific research in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. This research showed that the best protection against PepMV was achieved with a vaccination strategy based on a unique, mild and stable Chilean PepMV-isolate. This isolate quickly colonizes the plants and subsequently offers optimal protection against PepMV damage. Based on this knowledge PMV®-01 was developed. The product itself has a certified production process with strict quality controls.

But PMV®-01 is more than just a product, it is a strategy. Taking pre- and post-vaccination leaf samples is part of the vaccination strategy. Pre-vaccination samples are taken to check the young plants for a possible PepMV infection before vaccination and post-vaccination samples are taken to confirm a successful installation of the vaccine.

PMV®-01 is authorized for use as a biological plant protection product in the majority of the European member states and in a handful of countries outside the European Union. This number will be increasing in the near future. Currently, several evaluations procedures are in progress, both in- and outside Europe.

Since its very first use, a total surface of more than 4500 ha has been treated with PMV-01.


What is Pepino mosaic virus?

Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) is a single-stranded RNA-virus (Potexvirus genus, Fexiviridae family) that was originally isolated from pepino (Solanum muricatum), a South American melon-like fruit. From the season 1999-2000 the virus started to damage greenhouse tomato crops in Europe. Although the virus only causes major problems in tomato cultivation, other plants of the Solanaceae family (night shade family) such as eggplant, black nightshade, some potato and pepper varieties and some plants belonging to the genera Nicotiana (e.g. tobacco plant), Datura (e.g. thorn apple) and Physalis (e.g. Physalis floridana) can also act as a host.
The virus is very infectious and is transmitted mechanically. Possible ways of mechanical transmission are tools, employees, visitors, mobile phones, insects, etc. In other words, all means by which plant sap of an infected plant gets in contact with a non-infected plant. As soon as one single plant in the greenhouse has been infected by the virus, it is impossible to protect the other greenhouse plants from infection because of the rapid spread of the virus. Moreover, the virus spreads heterogeneously, which makes it very difficult to control the crop.

How to apply PMV®-01?

Before starting PMV®-01 vaccination, a team of experts will provide to the customer detailed information about the sampling and the vaccination itself. During this meeting the various stages of the crop cycle will be discussed with the grower in order to identify the points that require special attention with regard to hygiene measures. Based on this information, the team of experts can then provide the grower with a tailor-made advice on hygiene measures. These measures are taken to guarantee an optimal vaccination, but they can also be important for the grower to protect his crops against all kinds of other infections.

The next step of the vaccination strategy consists of a pre-vaccination sampling. The samples are taken no earlier than 1 week before planting. Depending on the grower’s preference, they can be taken at the plant nursery or at the grower’s place. The leaf samples are sent to the laboratory of Scientia Terrae VZW for molecular analysis in order to check if the plants are free of PepMV. The result of this analysis can be expected within 3 working days after arrival at the laboratory. Tomato plants are grown with great care and are usually free of PepMV. As soon as this is confirmed by the sampling and the accompanying analysis, the vaccination procedure can be started.

If the samples do test positive for PepMV, further options will be discussed with the customer.

For optimum results, it is recommended to vaccinate as soon as possible after planting. The vaccination itself consists of one treatment with 4 to 8 L of PMV®-01/ha diluted in 150 to 300L water at a spraying pressure of 5 to 7 bar. In order to guarantee optimum effectiveness, the temperature of the product should never exceed 15°C during treatment. After vaccination, a crop treatment is recommended so that the vaccine can easily and quickly penetrate the plant. 4L/ha is considered to be the standard dose for an optimum effect and a sufficiently rapid colonization. In case of a high risk of contamination and the need for accelerated colonization, the dose may be increased to 8 L/ha.

The vaccine finally installs itself in the plants. After an incubation period of 4 to 6 weeks, the crop is protected against damage caused by PepMV for the entire growing season. During this period, the team of experts will take post-vaccination samples to confirm the successful installation of the vaccine.



  1. Provide detailed information about hygienic measures, sampling and vaccination.
  2. Pre-vaccination samples are taken to check if the plants are free of PepMV.
  3. Planting.
  4. Vaccination of the plants after planting by spraying 4-8 L of PMV®-01/ha diluted in 150-300 L water.
  5. Post-vaccination samples are taken to confirm the successful installation of the vaccine.

How does PMV®-01 work?

The PMV®-01 vaccination strategy is based on the principle of cross-protection, a well-known mechanism in plant virology. At a first infection with the Pepino Mosaic Virus, the plant’s immune system is activated. Afterwards when the plant gets into contact again with the same virus , the plant’s immune system recognizes the virus and goes into action. As a result, the virus that causes the infection pressure will be eliminated by the plant itself.

The higher the level of genetic similarity between the virus causing the first infection and the virus causing the infection pressure afterwards, the more efficiently the mechanism will work. The active substance of PMV®-01 contains a mild isolate of the Chilean PepMV strain. This mild and stable Chilean isolate quickly installs itself in all the parts of the plant, so that the immune system will be activated in the entire crop 4 to 6 weeks after vaccination. After this period the plant is protected against future attacks of aggressive PepMV-isolates. Moreover, the mild isolate causes no symptoms on the fruits and has no effect on production, nor on quality.

Why do tomato growers choose for PMV®-01?

  • PMV®-01 has proven that it’s a solution for PepMV problems
  • PMV®-01 is the result of 10 years of scientific research
  • PMV®-01 is supported by a team of vaccination experts
  • PMV®-01 has a production process with strict quality controls
  • PMV®-01 is authorized for use as a biological plant protection product in the EU

Where can PMV®-01 be used?

Results with PMV®-01?

Ten years of scientific research and six years of commercial experience in more than 4500 treated hectares, have proven that PMV®-01 is a reliable solution for PepMV damage in all types of tomatoes, ranging from the smallest specialties to big beef tomatoes, in cultivation systems both with and without assimilation lighting, in all substrate and soil types and in different climatological conditions. The typical PepMV symptoms are not seen in PMV®-01 protected tomato crops. Moreover, production losses of 4 to 12% that can be caused by an aggressive PepMV infection are avoided with a PMV®-01 vaccination.
The effectiveness has been shown in a series of official GEP trials. In these trials, crops with and without PMV®-01 vaccination were inoculated with an aggressive PepMV isolate three weeks after the vaccination date. The PMV®-01 vaccinated crops showed no loss of quality and production, whereas the non-vaccinated crops showed average production losses ranging from 7 to 11%.



PMV®-01 vaccinated and non-vaccinated crops were challenged with an aggressive PepMV isolate 3 weeks after the vaccination date. The PMV®-01 vaccinated crop showed no quality loss and no production loss, in all GEP studies performed. In this 4 GEP trials, the nonvaccinated crops showed average production losses from 7 to 11%. GEP: Good Experimental Practice.


Commercial data from a tomato grower who obtains consistently higher productions of specialty tomatoes after PMV®-01 vaccination. Before he used the vaccine, the crop suffered from a spontaneous PepMV infection. With the PMV®-01 vaccine, the healthy plants allow a faster and more generative growth, resulting in more yield.

Latest news on PMV®-01

Good results with PepMV vaccine in European countries
The highly infectious Pepino Mosaic Virus (PepMV) results in severe damage and economical losses in greenhouse tomato crops.
Source:, 12/10/2017
Read more

Europe: Vaccination more often part of growing strategy
Did you ever think about vaccinating your crop against Pepino Mosaic Virus?
Source:, 9/5/2016
Read more

Greentech Horticultures forefront
You’re invited to visit Greentech, the world’s leading horticulture trade show.
Come and visit us at Greentech from 12 untill 14/06/2018 stand T08.104.