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Field Pea – Viral Diseases

Viral Diseases


  • More than 50 viruses are known to infect pea worldwide. Of these, only a few occur in Canada.
  • Economically important viruses in North America are: Pea Seed-Borne Mosaic Virus, Pea Enation Mosaic Virus, Bean (pea) Leaf Roll Virus, Pea Streak Virus and Red Clover Mosaic Virus causing pea stunt.
  • In the field, the pea aphid is the main vector of viruses from infected to healthy plants although other aphids are known to transmit viruses as well.


  • May include downward curling of leaflets on seedlings, Leaf Mosaic, rosetting (developing rose-like markings), shortening of internodes, chlorotic flecks or translucent lesions, upward curling of leaves, pod distortion and stunting.
  • Tissue proliferation may occur along leaf veins and on pods.
  • Pod set may be affected in some cultivars or distorted pods may develop with seeds that have split seed coats.
  • Some varieties may be infected and show no visible symptoms, but yield is reduced.
  • Seed size and quality is often reduced.
  • Delayed maturity may also occur.


  • Use of resistant varieties and virus-free seed.
  • Control of aphid populations has not proven a reliable control method.


  • Damage is rarely serious in Western Canada because of severe winters and a relatively short growing season.
  • Can result in delayed maturity as well as reductions in yield, seed size, and seed quality.



Special thanks to Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers.