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Alvaro Santos Costa

Álvaro Santos Costa, Brazilian plant pathologist (Sorocaba, São Paulo State 09 January 1912 –Campinas, São Paulo State 18 August 1998)
Considered as one of leading plant virologists in the world
Authored about 100 papers
Performed classical and pioneer studies on survey, identification, characterization and epidemiological studies of viruses affecting horticultural crops
Identified carrot motley dwarf virus
Described bean golden mosaic disease (1965)
Described Colletotrichum gossypii South var. cephalosporioides, the fungus that causes ramulosis disease of cotton (1935-6)
Described cassava vein mosaic disease (1940)
Described tomato yellow top virus (1949)

Described Brazilian tomato curly top vírus (1949) with C.W. Bennett

With C.W. Bennett described Euphorbia mosaic bigeminivirus (1950)

Described cotton anthocyanosis virus (1956)

First to report tomato spotted wilt virus in groundnut (1941)

Identified papaya ringspot virus as the limiting production factor for papaya
Discovered that degeneration of strawberry culture was due to the accumulation of at least four different viruses compounded by continuous vegetative propagation
Characterized virus and phytoplasma diseases of cassava and demonstrated that  the Brazilian and African cassava mosaics were caused by different viruses
Authored pioneering work on whitefly-transmitted diseases in several cultivated and wild plants
With T.J. Grant discovered mild strains of citrus tristeza virus (1951) and with G.W. Mueller used it for cross protection against severe strains

With F.M. do Nascimento & H.E. Borges discovered that bronzy of cotton plant is due to a mite (1955)

Described the morphology of virus tristeza

With D.M. Silva, A.R. Oliveira, G.W. Muller e E. W. Kitajima. Thread-like particles associated with tristeza disease of citrus. Nature 201 (4923):1011-2, 1964

With E.W. Kitajima, G.W. Muller & V.A. Yuki. Short rod-like particles associated with citrus leprosis. Virology 50:254-8, 1972 (demonstrated the citrus leprosis virus)

Described chicote de Piralima
With H.S. Prates & G.W. Muller. Chicote, anomalia da Piralima de causa desconhecida. Summa Phytopathol. 7(1-2):18-9, 1981

With E.W. Kitajima & J.A. Betti. Strawberry veinbanding vírus, a member of the cauliflower mosaic group. J. Gen. Virol. 20:117-8, 1973

With C.M. Franco. A virus technique useful to diagnose foliar deficiencies. Plant Physiol. 26:6250-8, 1951

With Krug described purple bud of White potato (1937)

Demonstrated that vira cabeça disease of tomato and tobacco was caused by Orthotospovirus 


Uma anomalia das folhas do mamoeiro. O Biológico 7(10):285-6, 1941

Duas novas moléstias de vírus do feijoeiro (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). O Biológico 7:177-82, 1941

With A.R. Lima & R. Forster. Necrose branca, uma moléstia de virus do fumo (Nicotiana tabacum L.) e “fumo couve” como sintoma tardio. J. Agron. S. Paulo 3:1-26, 1940

With R. Forster. Nota preliminar sobre uma nova moléstia de vírus do algodoeiro. Mosaico das nervuras. Rev. Agric. 13:187-91, 1938  

Found Pernambuco witches broom (1977)

With E.W. Kitajima observed Santa Barbara do Rio Pardo witches broom of cassava (1969)

With V.R. Caetano & E.W. Kitajima. Espiga branca do trigo, uma possível moléstia de vírus. Bragantia 20:61-4, 1970

With H.P. Krug. Eine durch Ceratostomella hervorgerufene Welkekrankheit der Crotalaria juncae in Brasilien. Phytopath. Zeitschr. 8:507-13, 1935

With H.P. Krug. Conditioning of the plant by one virus necessary for systemic evasion of another. Phytopath. Zeitschr. 65:219 -30, 1969





Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1957)

Award of Merit, American Phytopathological Society (1972)