Plant diseases



Viroses are plant diseases caused by viruses. Usually, viruses do not spontaneously penetrate the plant, but are inoculated by other pathogens called “vectors”. The main “vectors” or vehicles for the transmission of plant viruses are insects and parasites that often feed on the plant sap of fruit trees or ornamental species. The damage caused by virosis is very serious and often has a lethal outcome, also because, as also happens for humans, viral diseases cannot be cured, but only prevented with appropriate cultural strategies, in the case of plants, and with vaccines. in the case of humans.


Plant viruses act exactly like those of humans: they replicate within the cells of the host organism. The replication mechanism of viruses is what determines the high contagiousness and difficulty of treatment. In the case of plants, viruses, inoculated through other pathogenic “vectors”, replicate inside plant cells by binding to their DNA. Viruses, in fact, are primitive forms of life, halfway between bacteria and crystals. Their nucleus is made up of nucleic acids which make them the most primordial life forms that exist on earth. On the outside, these “hybrid” life forms are unable to survive and replicate, while they can do very well within host organisms, including plants. In nature there are many types of viruses capable of causing virosis. Some are named after the affected plant, such as cucumber mosaic, or citrus sadness. Other viruses may be named after the infecting agent that transmitted them. We will thus have afivirales, transmitted by aphids, cicavirales, transmitted by leafhoppers, and invavirales transmitted by some types of insects. The viruses that cause theplant viruses are not visible to the naked eye. However, their structure is very similar to other viruses that affect animals and humans. Some have a spherical shape, others stick, others still have a rigid or flexible tube.

Plants affected

Virosis can manifest itself in many species of plants, from ornamental ones to fruit trees. The ornamental plants most affected by virosis are iris, narcissus, freesia, tulip, gladiolus and lily. Virosis can also occur in fruit trees and plants, including cherry, vine, plum, peach, apricot, almond and citrus. Vegetable viruses do not even disdain vegetables, namely cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, courgettes and tomatoes.


Although plant viruses are not visible to the naked eye, the symptoms of virosis are clearly visible to the human eye. Plants with virosis can have deformations of the leaves, flowers, buds and fruits, but also different colors than usual. The leaves may appear shriveled or with yellowish patches arranged in a mosaic pattern. Obvious deformations can also appear on the fruits, which are smaller than the usual standards and have a soft and spongy consistency. Once the infection has occurred, it is impossible to implement treatment strategies. The fate of the plant affected by virosis will always be the same: withering, stunted growth and death.

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