Viruses are nearly always bad news, but sometimes they can surprise you. The tobacco mild green mosaic virus is one of those.
This viral disease can infect your peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. It can also help out.
Symptoms of tobacco mild green mosaic
Stunting, leaf mottling and puckering, and deformed fruits are all symptoms of tobacco mild green mosaic. These symptoms look similar to cucumber green mottle mosaic, tobacco mosaic, and tomato brown rugose, and with good reason. The viruses that cause these diseases are close cousins.
There are no chemical treatments for tobacco mild green mosaic. Good cultural practices like hand washing, sanitizing your tools, and avoiding infected areas, can slow the spread of this disease. And keep weeds in the nightshade family at a distance.
Tobacco mild green mosaic trivia
This virus is an approved herbicide in the US. Scientists discovered that the virus responsible for tobacco mild green mosaic is lethal to tropical soda apple. Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum Dunal) is a spiny, invasive weed that makes farmland, orchards, and pastures less productive. Florida estimated, in 2022, that tropical soda apple infested 1 million acres of their agricultural land.
According to the American Chemical Society, this virus can kill parasitic nematodes. In 2017, parasitic nematodes cost the global agricultural industry $157 billion. That’s a lot of zucchini!
So maybe the tobacco mild green mosaic virus isn’t all bad.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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