Dealing With Vegetable Diseases: Viruses, Parasitic Nematodes, Plus Vegetable Diseases at a Glance

| 9/20/2013 4:47:00 PM

Karen Newcomb

Viruses are complex single molecules that act like living organisms. There are more than 200,000 of these marauding molecules to an inch. To identify viruses, plant pathologists usually group them together by what they do to the plant. Viral diseases often show up as a distortion (puckering or curling) of leaves, flowers, or fruits; stunted plants; yellow streaking; or mottled leaves.

A few of the viruses that affect vegetables are aster yellows (plants are stunted and yellow), curly top (dwarfed plants with bunched, curled leaves), mosaic (leaves have mottled yellow or light green areas), ring spot (yellow or brown concentric rings), and yellows (plants are uniformly yellow, may wilt and die).

Curly Top Virus. Courtesy T.A. Zitter, Cornell University

Escarole Plant With Mosaic Virus