What is the mosaic virus?

The tobacco mosaic virus also known as TMV or Tobacco mosaic virus, is a virus that usually infect plants, especially those of tobacco and other members belonging to the Solanaceae family such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, among other herbaceous or woody plants. Also, it can affect legumes, vegetables and vegetables, such as onions, beans, celery and soybeans, and so on.

It should be noted that it was the first virus discovered , although from the late 19th century until 1930 it was known that there was an infectious disease that harmed the crops of tobacco and tomatoes, but it could not be determined that the infectious agent was a virus.

Although the mosaic virus does not destroy plants completely, it weakens them . The infection of this virus generates characteristic spots on the leaves of plants and, in addition, wrinkles are perceived on the leaves.

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History of the mosaic virus

In 1883, chemist Adolf Mayer made a description of the mosaic virus , indicating that it could be transferred from plant to plant in a similar way to bacterial infections. However, 6 years later, the Dutch naturist, microbiologist and botanist Martinus Willem Beijerinck showed that a culture medium filtered and free of bacteria continued the infectious agent.

Already in 1935, biochemist Wendell Meredith Stanley crystallized the virus and managed to prove that it was still active after crystallization. In 1958, the crystallographer Rosalind Frankin, who worked for Stanley, commented that the virus was not solid but hollow and hypothesized that the ribonucleic acid of the tobacco mosaic virus was single braid.

What are the symptoms of the mosaic virus?

The most characteristic symptoms of the tobacco mosaic virus are the loss of color between the veins of the youngest leaves, which is subsequently increasing to form the typical mottled of this virus; brown spots on the skin and pulp of the fruits; dark spots on the stems and leaf petioles; the lack of plant development; and, the appearance bent, elongated, wrinkled, especially when it is very hot and dry.

How is the tobacco mosaic virus transmitted and treated?

The tobacco mosaic virus is made by contact , that is, through the contact of the plant with tools that are contaminated, or, by the hands of the workers.

As for its treatment, it is important to make it clear that it does not have, nor are there varieties that resist this type of mosaic, so it is important to adopt a correct prevention to prevent infection of the mosaic virus .

Prevention measures

  • Use guaranteed copies that are virus free or resistant to them. Buy them in specialized nurseries.
  • It prevents the access of the animals that are contaminated to the plants making use of a barrier, cones, meshes, etc.
  • Make plantations away from areas with vegetation infested with whiteflies, aphids, thrips.
  • Use chemicalor natural insecticides to get rid of transmission vectors.
  • Remove the affected plants or the entire plantation if necessary and burn it.
  • Remove the grass from the soil to eradicate the virus.
  • Disinfect all work material to eliminate possible viruses in the tools you use in other plantations.
  • Avoid growing plants susceptible to being invaded by the mosaic virus in soils where other contaminated plants have already existed. However, if you have no alternative and you are going to plant them in the same place, renew the soil up to 30 centimeters deep.
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