Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)

Tobacco mosaic virus on tobacco leaf
Tobacco mosaic virus on tobacco leaf [Credit: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company]

Host Plants:

On Crops: Tomatoes, peppers, aubergine

Where Found:

Mostly in warm temperate climates


Leaves become mottled with varying shades of green, and develop crinkles and dry, stiff edges. Plants appear stunted and grow slowly, and any fruits produced will also show mottling and brown patches. In hot midday sun, infected plants wilt more than healthy ones.


Plants infected with this disease will not recover, and because the disease can be spread to new plants by people and insects, it is best to pull them up immediately. Sometimes it is easiest to see the mottling of the leaves in shade or subdued light.

Preventing Problems:

Choose resistant varieties, which are widely available. If this disease has been seen in your garden, growing resistant varieties for three years often ends the epidemic by depriving the virus of host plants.

Managing Outbreaks:

Pull up and dispose of infected plants in the trash. If it is still early in the season, plants can be replaced with resistant varieties.

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