Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)-Virus Diseases

Latest revision: 
March 2023


Cause Asparagus virus I (AVI) (aphid transmitted), Asparagus virus II (AVII) (pollen and seed transmitted), and Tobacco streak virus (an ilarvirus) appear to be widely distributed in commercial asparagus plantings.

Symptoms Alone, it is thought these viruses do not cause any specific symptoms. Asparagus infected with both AVI and AVII declines in vigor over a number of years. Many infected plants begin to die in the second or third year after infection.

Cultural control

  • Propagate new plants using seed that has been tested and found free of all known problematic viruses.
  • Locate new plantings as far as possible from old plantings that show decline symptoms.

Reference Elmer, W.H., Johnson, D.A., and Mink, G.I. 1996. Epidemiology and management of the .diseases causal to asparagus decline. Plant Disease 80:117-125.