Laughing Owl Sweet Peas

Specialist cut flower Sweet Pea seed

Virus diseases of Sweet Peas

Some 57 different types of virus are known to be capable of infecting sweet peas, but only a few are of real significance. Details of the major ones are listed below. No treatment or cure is possible, and infected plants should be destroyed.

Terminology

The terminology used to classify virus diseases can be confusing as it often refers to the behavior of the virus in the vector rather than in the plant! The following notes may be useful:

Bean Yellow Mosaic

Synonym - Several including canna mosaic, gladiolus mosaic.
Distribution - World-wide.
Hosts - Wide range including red and white clovers, gladioli, freesia, Robinia pseudacacia.
Vector - Aphids (many species). Also spread mechanically, rarely seed borne.
Nature - Non-persistent.
Symptoms - Seasonably variable. Mosaic, streak, fuzzy head and colour breaking.
Status - This virus is rare on sweet peas

Pea Enation Mosaic Virus

pea enation mosaic virus

Distribution - Widespread, including UK, USA and Canada.
Hosts - Culinary pea, white clover and other leguminous plants.
Vector - Aphids. Also spread mechanically and probably seed borne.
Nature - Persistent, not congenital.
Symptoms - Translucent windows with enation in leaves and flowers, mosaic, puckering of foliage, stunting.
Status - This virus is quite common on sweet peas

Pea Mosaic Virus

Synonym - Common pea mosaic.
Distribution - World-wide.
Hosts - Red clover and other leguminous plants.
Vector - Aphids. Also spread mechanically, not seed borne.
Nature - Non-persistent.
Symptoms - Systemic mosaic, with streak developing on stem. Mottling and chlorosis of foliage. Colour breaking on flowers and distortion of head of plant ("fuzzy head").
Status - This virus is quite common on sweet peas, spreads rapidly and is highly destructive.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

Synonyms - Many, including dahlia ringspot.
Distribution - World-wide.
Host - Very wide variety of plants, including grasses, tomato and potato.
Vector - Thrips, mechanical, not seed borne.
Nature - Persistent, not congenital.
Symptoms - Very variable. Leaves show circular yellow spots, turning brown. Mosaic, wilting and colour breaking. Reddish brown streaks on stem.
Status - This virus is rare on sweet peas but may become more common.


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