Posted on by Jason Gibson

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Quick Facts

  • TMV is a virus, common to plants of the Solanaceae family and most commonly occurs in tobacco crops.
  • TMV is the first virus ever to be discovered, and the first pathogen to be labelled as such.
  • TMV transmission is mechanically introduced to crops and spreads very quickly.
  • TMV cannot be cured.
  • TMV Belongs to the family Virgaviridae; a plus-strand family of viruses.


As the name indicates the virus is responsible for bizarre mosaic like patterning throughout the plant, causing a host of mRNA mutations like twisting, curling and in some cases severe leaf variegation.


How did I get TMV?

Tough question, the virus is generally spread via human interaction poor hygiene is usually due to the transferal of the virus, in some cases neighbouring plants could transfer the virus. 

Even something as simple as rolling or smoking a cigarette and not washing hands thoroughly before entering the grow space is all the virus needs to riddle a crop.


Can TMV be cured?

No. Once you have it, destroy everything.


How to prevent TMV? 

Good gardening practice.

Impeccable (or higher) detail to hygiene, ALWAYS wash your hands before and after touching something in isolation, random plants etc. You spend months loving and caring for your crops so take the extra 3 minutes to wash your hands, change clothes and wear gloves.

Tobacco Leaf Virus

TMV Life Cycle?

The assembly and replication of the virus occurs within the cytoplasm, making the virus cytoplasmic.

Transcription the first step of gene expression is a process whereby the information within a strand of DNA is copied into a new molecule messenger RNA (mRNA)

Basically, as the genetic information is scrambled once your plants or crops have TMV, it’s generally over.


Image Credits: Wikipedia