Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris)-Beet Mosaic

Latest revision: 
March 2023

By O. Neher and C. M. Ocamb

Cause Beet mosaic virus (BMV), which overwinters in infected members of the beet family including red beets. The virus is spread by many aphid species but persists in the aphid vectors only a few hours. Therefore, the virus moves fairly short distances from infected plants. The host range for BMV includes the families Chenopodiaceae, Solanaceae, and Leguminosae. Because overlapping beet crops are not grown in the Pacific Northwest, Beet mosaic virus has not been observed to cause economic loss in this area.

Symptoms Young leaves have yellowish, circular spots, often yellowish rings with green centers. Leaves appear puckered and mottled with light and dark green areas. Plants are stunted.

Cultural control

  • Eliminate overwintering hosts, both escaped and wild.
  • Plant to avoid migrating aphids.

Reference Harveson, R.M., Hanson, L.E., and Hein, G.L. 2009. Compendium of Beet Diseases and Insects, 2nd Edition. St. Paul, MN: APS Press.