A potato leaf showing alfalfa mosaic virus

Mosaic viruses are plant viruses that cause the leaves to have a speckled appearance. It attacks mainly plants in the Solanaceae and Cucurbit families. Mosaic virus is not a single unit of organisms. Mosaic virus may refer to:

  • Alfalfa mosaic virus
  • Arabis mosaic virus
  • Beet mosaik virus
  • Bean common mosaic virus (in the potyvirus genus)
  • Cassava mosaic virus (in the begomovirus genus)
  • Celery mosaic virus (in the potyvirus genus)
  • Cucumber mosaic virus
  • Maize dwarf mosaic virus (in the potyvirus genus)
  • Panicum mosaic satellite virus
  • Plum pox virus (in the potyvirus genus)
  • Squash mosaic virus (in the comovirus genus)
  • Tobacco mosaic virus (in the tobamovirus genus)
  • Tomato mosaic virus (in the tobamovirus genus)
  • Tulip breaking virus
  • Turnip yellow mosaic virus


Leaves are mottled with yellow areas and become distorted. Different varieties of mosaic virus have different symptoms, but all cause similarly yellowed leaves.


Bean common mosaic virus[]

Leaf cupping and mosaic markings.[1]


None. Plants with mosaic virus can survive, but will suffer a reduced crop. Mosaic virus is transmitted by insects and humans alike. If you choose to keep your infected plant(s) ensure you wash your hands after handling one to reduce the risk of contamination. Remove yellow leaves and burn. Do not leave any signs of infected leaves on the soil. If you prefer not to take the risk; uproot infected plants and burn.


Do not plant at-risk varieties in areas previously infected the following season. If growing in a greenhouse; replace the top soil. Increasing the temperature to 24°C (75°F) reduces the risk of mosaic virus.



  1. Schwartz, H.F. (2008). Bean Common Mosaic Virus Potyvirus BCMV. Forestry Images. Image Number: 5363996. Retrieved: 2010-10-26.