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What is the 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 nineteenth century in tobacco plants. Later it began to be located in other species, but it kept the name they gave it in its day. It mainly affects the nightshade family (cannabis, tomato, tobacco, eggplant, etc.)

virus del mosaico

What damage does the VMT cause?

Normally the mosaic virus does not end the life of plant species, but it will cause damage to leaves, flowers and fruits and a notable decrease in the speed of development 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 sheets will curl and wrinkle.

The symptoms usually vary depending on the affected species, light conditions, temperature, humidity and diet.

How is the mosaic virus spread?

There are several ways that 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.

Manipulating an infected plant and immediately touching a healthy plant can transmit the virus from one plant to another if the recipient has any cuts or tears.

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 on healthy, infected plants will certainly spread the infection.

How can you combat VMT?

As of today there is still no effective chemical treatment to protect plant species. There are indications that the virus can survive up to half a century in dry parts of plants, so the total elimination of the virus is perhaps somewhat utopian.

Thus, the best fight against this virus is prevention.

Prevention techniques:

-To quarantine all new acquisitions in our mothers wardrobe, especially if we do not know where they came from.

-Sterilize garden tools.

-Use gloves to manipulate plants.

-Change gloves between varieties.

-Eliminate infected varieties and all their remains.

-Do not bring tobacco to our crops, whether smoked, or in a sting or in cigarettes.

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