The mosaic complex is a viral disease that impacts many plants, including Chilli peppers. Different strains of plant viruses cause these diseases, which can cause big losses in crop yield and quality if they aren’t taken care of properly. Mosaic complex is usually seen in Chilli peppers as mottled, yellowish-green leaves with irregular patterns of dark green or brown spots. Infected plants may also have stunted development, distorted fruit, and lower yields.
Mosaic Complex Management in Chilli
Causes/Pathogen of Mosaic Complex in Chilli
The mosaic of Chilli is caused by the Tobacco mosaic virus, transmitted by aphids. The disease is characterized by the appearance of dark green and light green areas on the leaf surface, filamentous-like leaves, and reduced flower and fruit production. The virus is sap-transmissible, and aphids can also transmit it.
Field sanitation, roughing, and cultural practices are recommended to manage and control the mosaic of Chilli. This involves removing and destroying infected plants and weeds and implementing good crop rotation practices. Using optimum doses of nitrogenous fertilizer in the field can also help prevent the disease.
The Disease Cycle of Mosaic Complex in Chilli
- The disease cycle of the mosaic complex in Chilli peppers begins with the virus in the field, which can persist in plant or root debris in dry soil for over two years, and one month in most soils.
- Plants can become contaminated through minor wounds in the roots. The virus can also spread via infested seeds, seedlings, weeds, and contaminated plant parts.
- Once the virus is present in the plant, it can multiply and spread rapidly, causing symptoms such as raised blisters, mottled areas of light and dark green on the foliage, leaves pointing toward the ground, necrotic spots on the stem, and small and distorted fruit.
Conditions Favorable for Mosaic Complex Spread in the Field
- Splattering rains and moist weather help mosaic complex viruses grow. First, rainfall can spread virus-infected plant sap to nearby plants.
- Second, moisture helps mosaic complex virus-carrying insects like aphids and thrips move between plants. Wet weather affects plants, making them more vulnerable to viruses.
- High humidity or prolonged dew can also spread complex mosaic viruses. Humidity and dew promote virus spread and insect movement between plants.
Damage Symptoms of Mosaic Complex
- Raised blisters and mottled areas of light and dark green on the foliage.
- Leaves pointing toward the ground.