Several viruses that attack clover are often seen together, including:
- White clover mosaic virus
- Alfalfa mosaic virus
- Soybean dwarf virus
- Clover yellow vein virus
- Bean yellow mosaic virus
- Watermelon virus
Virus symptoms are not always obvious and vary from leaf mottling, distortion, crinkling and size reduction to plant stunting. Damage depends on clover species, age of the stand, location and the virus present. Moderate reductions in forage quality and production are possible. Stress from virus infections may lead to plant damage or death from other pathogens or pests.
Viruses are spread by mechanical damage (mowing, trampling and feeding by stock), aphid feeding and seed.
Prevention and management
Little can be done to eliminate virus infections in clover. Sowing cultivars that are well adapted to a region reduces plant stress and virus susceptibility.
Alfalfa mosaic virus on white clover.