Cucumber mosaic is caused by a virus called Cucumber mosaic cucumovirus (CMV). This pest has the widest global host range of any plant virus.
It is mostly spread by aphids, but this disease can also be carried on shoes and garden tools and by seeds. It is most commonly seen on all cucurbits, except watermelon.
Symptoms of cucumber mosaic
Young infected leaves tend to cup downward. Mature leaves become severely mottled with light and dark green patches. Leaf midribs may become deformed with a zigzag growth. Due to the interference of photosynthesis, growth is stunted and fruits can be deformed with bumps. Cucumber mosaic can cause cucumbers to turn white.
How to control cucumber mosaic
As prevalent as the mosaic virus is, planting resistant varieties is the best control. Once an outbreak occurs, all affected plants should be removed and thrown away. A reflective mulch can be used to repel aphid vectors. Chemical pesticides and insecticides have not been proven effective against cucumber mosaic.
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