Viruses are common in agriculture and horticulture. The virus organism needs another cell to survive and to multiply itself, contrary to bacteria, which have their own metabolism. Viruses change the metabolism in their environment (in the cells in which they have settled) in order to obtain nutrients.
Common viruses include:
- the tomato spotted wilt virus
- the pepino mosaic virus
- and the impatiens necrotic spot virus
When a plant is infected, the virus literally becomes part of the DNA (genetic structure). When a virus is developing, the new organisms are often reproduced until a cell bursts. This damages the leaf cells and plant tissue in which the virus is present. This is also the time when the search for a new host begins! Viruses can be aided by materials such as knives and clothing (via plant saps). Viruses are also often transmitted by insects.