Heat treatment for mosaic virus

Rodger Whitlock totototo@telus.net
Thu, 09 May 2013 11:30:23 PDT
On 9 May 2013, at 0:22, Alberto Castillo wrote:

> Well, the standard procedure involves using hot water and the temperature to be
> reached to be effective is 46 C at the bulb core for one hour. It gave good
> results but the bulbs were pretty battered by the treatment and took long to
> recover. The reason is evident: to reach 46 C at the core the outer portion must
> be almost boiled.

Oh, Alberto, no need to boil your bulbs!

I once used the same method in an attempt to clear thrips from a badly infested 
garden gladiolus. Brought the water up to the desired temperature, immersed the 
bulbs, then carefully watched the thermometer, adjusting the heat under the pan 
(nothing more than a big sauce pan) up and down as the temperature fell and 
rose. I was able to keep the water temperature within a degree or two of the 
target for however long the bulbs were in the water - about an hour, iirc.

The key to this is an accurate thermometer. It's been a long long time, but I 
probably used a lab thermometer that was a souvenir of my days as a chemistry 
grad student.

Even better would be a thermostatically controlled water bath, but hand 
adjustment worked fine for this one-off experiment.

I never did hear from the grower whether the treatment was successful.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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