Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
ALL OTHER SAMPLES:
- $20: In-state samples submitted by Cooperative Extension Service (including Master Gardeners), NCDA&CS Regional Agronomists, and other State of North Carolina and non-profit agencies, with on-line submission of sample information
- $30: In-state samples submitted directly to the PDIC by the public and all samples submitted without information filled out on-line
- $75: Out-of-state samples. Please see important directions for submitting samples from out of state.
- See our Fee Schedule for detailed information and for other sample types
The Plant Disease and Insect Clinic at North Carolina State University provides a wide array of diagnostic services including:
- Diagnosis of plant diseases and disorders
- Identification of insects, spiders, mites, and other arthropods and the damage they cause
- Identification of household molds
- Analysis of ethylene in greenhouse air samples
- Diagnosis of plant injuries from pesticides and other sources
- Analysis of water samples for certain waterborne plant pathogens
Note: due to the unexpected passing of mycologist Dr. Larry Grand, the clinic is not accepting mushroom samples at this time.
As part of the diagnostic process, we check for plant diseases, insect problems, injuries and various disorders, and measure soil pH and soluble salts. If we suspect nutrient imbalances or nematode damage, we refer the sample to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at no additional charge.
Once we have made a diagnosis, you will receive a sample report that will cover a summary of our observations, the results of the diagnosis, and recommendations for managing the problem or problems diagnosed. In many cases you can expect a diagnosis within 2-3 days after we receive the sample, but some samples can take much longer. See What to Expect for more information.
Facilities and Resources
Our lab is a state of the art diagnostic facility and our fees include nearly all diagnostic tests at no additional charge. Among the tests and procedures we use for diagnosis are:
- Digital images - for rapid diagnosis from photographic images, to diagnose trees and other large specimens, and to show the problem in its field or landscape setting
- Incubation - to encourage growth and sporulation of fungal pathogens
- Microscopic examination and digital imaging of disease and insect specimens
- Culturing on special agar - to identify Phytophthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and other fungal and bacterial species
- ELISA - to identify fungi, bacteria, and viruses using the same principles as home pregnancy tests
- Biolog - to identify bacteria based on their nutritional requirements
- Conventional and real-time PCR - to identify fungi, bacteria, and viruses from DNA fingerprints
- Sequencing - to identify fungi, bacteria, and viruses from DNA or RNA sequences
Our in-house library contains more than 400 reference works, including disease diagnostic guides, fungal identification keys, crop and ornamental production manuals and guides, pesticide references, and plant identification manuals. Our searchable database has complete records for all samples (more than 10,000) submitted to the clinic since 2008.
Occasionally, we need to refer a sample to a specialized lab for definitive diagnosis. Our diagnosticians will consult with you before referring samples for further analysis if this will result in additional charges.
All sample reports include information and recommendations for controlling the problem or problems we identify. Our staff works closely with expert faculty at NCSU and other institutions to provide recommendations suitable for your situation, whether you are a homeowner or large commercial producer.
We can provide diagnostic and identification services for large numbers of samples or special projects on a limited basis. Please contact Barbara Shew, Director of the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic, to discuss your needs.
Last update: 21-Mar-2013 by M.J. Munster