If I have a squash plant that has a mosaic virus of some kind, and I breed its descendants (via seed) for generations, each with exposure to the same virus, will future generations be likely to eventually obtain resistance to the virus, and if so, how long would this typically take?

It seems to me that this might be how the resistant plants would have first developed resistance, but I could be wrong.


1 Answer 1


Perhaps the answer is in natural selection. Over many generations, if these plants are constantly exposed to the same virus, one of them may obtain a mutation or something similar that allows it to be resistant, thus that plant will have higher survival and growth rate and thus more seeds.

The current plant itself may also adapt to the presence of this virus (perhaps in growth patterns, etc.) over a long period of time.

As for the time for the genetic resistance to take place, it is almost impossible to say as it is almost completely random (and would also depend on what other plants you may pollinate it with as an already resistant plant would, of course, cancel the need for a mutation).

I hope this helps.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .