- 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.
- Aphids, 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.
- 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.