The University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic is a multi-disciplinary laboratory that serves commercial growers as well as the general public. The services provided include routine plant disease diagnosis (e.g. leaf spots, root rot diseases, cankers, wilt diseases, etc.), nematode analysis, seed quality testing, viral analysis, insect identification, and contract research. Certain plant pathogens and diseases can be detected and diagnosed using sensitive and specific PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assays.
Disease diagnosis is a critical initial step for successful disease management. Several different diseases and/or plant health problems can cause similar symptoms; therefore, it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis to choose the best disease-control measures and to know what is affecting your crops or plants. Accurate and timely plant disease diagnosis starts with proper sample collection and submission. Samples should be collected as soon as disease symptoms develop and they should be submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic according to guidelines listed in the “How to submit a sample” section.