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Cassava mosaic disease

Cassava mosaic geminiviruses (CMGs) such as African cassava mosaic virus, East African cassava mosaic virus
  • Select material for propagation from a reliable and disease-free source
  • Use resistant cultivars if available:
    • Note: many of the CMD-resistant cultivars are susceptible to CBSD
  • Avoid planting alternative hosts of the virus, such as castor bean (Ricinus communis), adjacent to cassava
  • Avoid planting cassava if your neighbours have virus-infected cassava as the virus will be carried by whiteflies to your field
  • Avoid planting alternative hosts of the virus vector whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, such as tomato in or near a cassava field
  • Weed regularly, especially during the early stage of the crop. Weeds such as Geratium spp. are alternative hosts of whitefly
  • Intercrop with cereals and legumes, such as maize or cowpeas, to repel whiteflies
  • Additonal relevant crops: soya bean, castor oil plant, Datura spp., Nicotiana spp., Leucaena leucocephala, Jatropha multifida
  • Examine crop once a week for symptoms (note: infections can be symptomless). Consider taking action when 5-10 plants per acre are infested
  • The disease is carried and spread by whiteflies, Bemisia species
  • Scout fields for whiteflies early morning or evenings twice per week on 20 plants. If you shake plants, flying-off whiteflies can be seen
  • Take measure controls before whitefly numbers reach more than 2 adults per leaf in 50% of plants
  • Trap whiteflies using yellow sticky traps
  • Symptoms:
    • Leaves: patches of discolouration (chlorosis) which vary from light green to yellow and also vary in size. Distorted, often severely
    • Leaf stalks: have a characteristic S-shape
  • There are no treatments for virus-infected plants
  • Uproot and bury or burn diseased plants as part of an integrated management strategy. This is only effective if done early, before many plants are affected
  • Follow with crop rotation with non-host plants such as sorghum or cowpeas to reduce virus levels in your area
  • Vector control offers few benefits - it is difficult, costly and time-consuming

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