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.
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.