Cowpea mild mottle virus is known to cause severe distortion, twisting and discolouration of the pods as well as mosaic/mottling symptoms on leaves in beans. The virus infects peanut (Arachis hypogaea) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), in addition to chia, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and soybean. Cowpea mild mottle virus is transmitted by whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in a non-persistent manner. The virus is also transmitted through cowpea and soybean seed. Disease incidence in bean crops inspected in Fassifern, Queensland was high-between 50%-90% symptomatic plants. Several bean crops were not harvested due to severe pod damage and beans from other crops have been downgraded or require considerable sorting in the pack house to remove affected pods.
Work to determine host range and mode of transmission, reduce disease inoculum over winter and to minimise impact on growers is in progress.