Alfalfa mosaic virus

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symptoms of Alfalfa mosaic virus on potato leaves (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV)

This is a widespread virus which infects a large variety of plants, in particular from the solanaceous and leguminaceous families. Infected plants might have little or no fruit production. However, serious economic losses are rare. The virus causes mosaics, mottling and malformations (e.g. in lucerne) as well as necrotic spots (e.g. on tomato fruits) or stunting. Infections can be symptomless in other hosts. Necrotic and chlorotic leaf lesions develop on tobacco, which is a suitable indicator plant and used for propagating the virus.

symptoms of Alfalfa mosaic virus on tobacco leaves (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Paul Bachi, University of Kentucky Research and Education Center
Source: IPM Images

The virus can be easily transmitted through sap. In some hosts it is also seed-borne (e.g. in lucerne) and it can be transmitted by aphids in a non-persistent manner. Because of the large number of host plants, weedy hosts are common and can promote its spread. It is recommended to avoid planting susceptible crops near lucerne or clover fields which often contain the virus. Control of aphids to prevent spread of the disease is not regarded as being effective.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Luzernemosaikvirus
• English: Alfalfa mosaic virus
• Français: virus de la mosaïque de la luzerne

The virus has 4 types of particles (3 bacilliform and 1 spheroidal), between 30 and 57 nm large. The bacilliform particles each contain a single-stranded RNA molecule, RNA1 to RNA3, ranging in size from 2 to 3.2 kb. The 4th particle contains 2 copies of RNA4, with 881 nucleotides. Some authors classify the virus as belonging to the related genus Ilarvirus.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.