University of Maryland Extension

Viruses - Vegetables

Back to Vegetable Crops

virus infected squash
Virus infected squash

  • Specific virus diseases are difficult to distinguish and produce a wide range of symptoms including stunted, slow growing plants, twisted, crinkled, cupped or deformed leaves, and leaf discoloration (yellow mottling and mosaic patterns, ringspots and dark-green banding). Viruses can cause colored circles or mottling (alternate dark green and light green or yellow streaks) of fruits. 
  • Viral symptoms are usually first observed on foliage.
  • They can possibly infect bean, pea, pepper, cucumbers, squash, melon, and tomato plants.
  • Aphid, thrips and leafhopper feeding transmit most viruses common in Maryland.
  • Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is mechanically transmitted by tools and handling plants.
  • Viral diseases are systemic and symptoms tend to progress and worsen through the season.

Management

  •  If viral symptoms extend to edible plant parts, the entire plant needs to be removed and discarded. Pods with minor viral symptoms are edible and will not cause health problems.
  • Control weeds around the garden and insect pests that suck plant sap.
  • Grow or purchase transplants resistant to TMV.

pepper infected with a virus
Virus symptoms on pepper fruit

virus infected butternut squash
Virus symptoms on butternut
squash

peas infected with a virus
Virus symptoms on peas

pumpkin infected with a virus
Virus symptoms on pumpkin
fruit

tomatoes infected with spotted wilt virus
Tomato spotted wilt on tomato fruit

 

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.