Curly Top

Pathogen (virus) – Beet curly top virus (BCTV)

Beet curly top is a highly destructive disease which is widespread throughout the western United States. The beet curly top virus is vectored by beet leafhopper, Circulifer tenellus, which has an extensive host range, a high reproductive capacity, and the ability to migrate long distances from its desert breeding ground to cultivated areas. The leafhopper overwinters on a wide range of annual and perennial weeds and readily acquires the virus when feeding on infected plants. In the spring, it migrates to agricultural lands when the overwintering host plants dry out.  

Symptoms
Leaves are dwarfed, crinkled, and rolled upward and inward. Veins on the lower side of the infected leaves are roughened and irregularly swollen with spine-like outgrowths. Roots are dwarfed, and rootlets tend to become twisted and distorted and often die. Curly top inflicts more damage if plants are infected at an early stage or under stress.  

Control 
Resistant varieties are an important choice for the control of curly top. Seed treated with insecticides such as Poncho® Beta have been shown to reduce levels of curly top infection. Under moderate infection, pressure control of leafhoppers via application of insecticides can also reduce curly top symptoms.  

Curly Top