Vegetable Disease Diagnostic Services

 

COVID-19 Update: The OSU Vegetable Pathology Lab will resume our diagnostic services on Monday, April 13, 2020 on a limited basis with the following restrictions:

1. Send photos or short videos that represent the problem via text or email to Dr. Sally Miller (330-466-5249/miller.769@osu.edu) AND Dr. Francesca Rotondo (865-640-5621/rotondo.11@osu.edu). If we can’t diagnose the problem from the digital samples we will ask you to send a physical sample.

2. No drop-off samples can be accepted. Ship samples Monday through Thursday via overnight delivery (USPS, FedEx, UPS or other courier) to the OSU Vegetable Pathology Lab, c/o Dr. Francesca Rotondo, 234 Selby Hall, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691 (330-466-5249).

The Ohio State University Vegetable Pathology Lab offers a free service to commercial vegetable growers in Ohio.  We have expertise in diagnosing vegetable crop diseases and abiotic disorders in conventional and organic, open field and protected culture (including hydroponic) systems.

Home garden and other non-commercial samples should be referred to the OSU C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic.

We utilize a range of traditional and modern, state-of-the-art diagnostic methods.  These include light microscopy to identify fungal and oomycete (Phytophthora, Pythium, downy mildew) pathogens based on morphology, culturing followed by microscopic or other identification, biochemical and plant tests for bacterial identification, serological assays, mainly for virus and bacterial identification, specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR and quantitative PCR) assays and genomic sequencing.  When a sample is received by courier, US mail, or in person, it is immediately catalogued and given a unique number.  After initial evaluation, the submitter is contacted within 24 hours by phone or email and provided with a preliminary diagnosis and management recommendations.  In many cases this is also the final diagnosis.  If culturing or other time-consuming tests are required, results may not be available for several days to one week.

Diagnostic Sample Submission

How to submit a sample:

  1. If possible, send photos or short videos that represent the problem via text or email to Dr. Sally Miller (330-466-5249/miller.769@osu.edu) AND Dr. Francesca Rotondo (865-640-5621/rotondo.11@osu.edu). We may be able to diagnose the problem from your digital sample; if not, we will advise you to submit a physical sample.
  2. Physical sample submission: complete the Plant Sample Submission Form (Fillable PDF File), providing as much information about as possible.
  3. Samples must be freshly collected and with a moderate amount of disease. Dead plants rarely yield an accurate diagnosis.
  4. Entire plants are preferred, especially if wilting symptoms are present. Place the roots in a plastic bag secured around the base of the plant and cover the top with another plastic bag, unsealed.  Place the sample in a sturdy box with crushed newspaper or other packing material.
  5. If only leaves or fruits are submitted, place them in zip-seal bags and box as above. Do not send samples in envelopes.
  6. Place the completed Plant Sample Submission Form in a zip-seal plastic bag, seal it and include it in the package.
  7. Ship samples Monday through Thursday via overnight delivery (USPS, FedEx, UPS or other courier) to the OSU Vegetable Pathology Lab, c/o Dr. Sally Miller, 234 Selby Hall, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691 (330-466-5249). Samples may also be dropped off at Selby Hall on the Wooster campus, or during the growing season at the OSU Muck Crops Experiment Station in Willard or the OSU North Central Experiment Station in Fremont.