Mosaic virus in cannabis

What is mosaic virus?

The mosaic virus or commonly called tobacco mosaic virus (VMT) currently affects more than a hundred plant species. It gets its name from its discovery in the early 19th century in tobacco plants. Later it began to be found in other species, but it kept the name that was given to it in its day. It mainly affects the Solanaceae family (cannabis, tomato, tobacco, eggplant, etc.)

What damage does VMT cause?

Usually the mosaic virus does not kill plant species, but it will cause damage to leaves, flowers and fruits and a notable decrease in the development speed of the species. The most obvious effects are the depigmentation of the leaves with dark areas and the appearance of yellow blisters. Many of the leaves will curl and wrinkle. Symptoms usually vary depending on the affected species, light conditions, temperature, humidity and food.

How does mosaic virus spread?

There are several ways the tobacco virus passes from one plant to another. The main and most frequent are pests. Mites, aphids and other insects can transfer the virus from one plant to another through the saliva of their bite. Handling an infected plant and immediately touching a healthy plant can transmit the virus from one plant to another if the recipient has a cut or tear. Pollen from an infected plant can also spread the virus, and seeds from a diseased plant can carry the virus to a new area. Cutting cuttings with the same tools and gloves from healthy, infected plants will certainly spread the infection.

How can VMT be fought?

To date, there is still no effective chemical treatment that protects plant species. There are indications that the virus can survive up to half a century in dry parts of plants, so that the total elimination of the virus is perhaps somewhat utopian. Thus, the best fight against this virus is prevention. Prevention techniques: -Subject to quarantine all new acquisitions from our mother's wardrobe, especially if we do not know their origin. -Sterilize garden tools. -Wear gloves to handle plants. -Change gloves between varieties. -Eliminate infected varieties and all the remains of these. -Do not bring tobacco near our crops, whether it is smoked, cut or cigarettes.