Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Zucchini yellow mosaic (202)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On zucchini and other cucurbits, including melon, pumpkin, watermelon, as well as species of Luffa and Momordica. Important diseases.
  • Four viruses infect zucchini and others in the cucumber family, causing misshapen fruit and leaves.
  • All are spread by aphids (green flies). After a short feed the aphids can infect healthy plants.
  • Cultural control: avoid over-lapping crops, check each seedling; weed around nursery and plants in field; plastic mulches (clear and silver) delay infection; resistant varieties.
  • Chemical control: none recommended because aphids spread virus quickly before insecticides kill them. But try soap, white or horticultural oils (see Fact Sheet no. 056).
Common Name

Zucchini yellow mosaic

Scientific Name

Zucchini yellow mosaic virus, Zucchini yellow mosaic potyvirus. The virus exists as many strains.

Zucchini yellow mosaic virus is not alone in causing mosaics in zucchini and other cucurbits, there is Watermelon mosaic virus and Papaya ringspot virus type W. Watermelon mosaic virus causes mosaics (light and green patterns) on the leaves, whereas the other two distort both leaves and fruit. Cucumber mosaic virus also infects zucchini producing stunted distorted leaves, and surface roughness of the fruit.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information (and Photo 2) Diseases of vegetable crops in Australia (2010). Editors, Persley D, et al.. CSIRO Publishing; and from CABI (2014) Zucchini yellow mosaic. Crop Protection Compendium. ( Photo 1 Kohler F, et al. (1997) Diseases of cultivated crops in Pacific Island countries. South Pacific Commission. Pirie Printers Pty Limited, Canberra, Australia. Photo 3 Semisi Pone, Auckland, New Zealand.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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