Collection of Plant Samples for Plant Disease Identification
PEI Analytical Laboratories
NEW LOCATION The Plant Diagnostic Laboratory has relocated to the PEI Analytical Laboratory facility. The facility is located at 23 Innovation Way, Bio Commons Park in Charlottetown. Please note that the new phone number is 620-3300. Samples can be dropped off directly at the lab at 23 Innovation Way or at most Access PEI sites.
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When investigating a potential plant disease problem, good observational and detective skills are necessary. The sample should be fresh material with several examples of visual symptoms expressed from healthy to infected tissue.
Examples of observations a collector should make include:
- pattern of disease in the crop;
- frequency of the disease symptoms; and
- inspect the interior of roots and stems to identify if internal symptoms exist.
Procedure For Sample Collection, Packaging and Submission
The following procedures for obtaining, packaging and submitting the sample are suggested.
- Obtain a fresh sample with several examples ranging from healthy to infected tissue.
- Include as much of the plant as is practical, especially the root system. Place root system in a separate plastic bag to avoid drying out and soil contaminating the leaves.
- A leaf and potato tuber sample should be large enough to give a good indication of the problem: approximately 10 to 20 leaves or 15 to 20 pounds of tubers.
- Place samples in appropriate bags: tubers in paper bags and leaf tissue in plastic bags with a moist paper towel and air.
- Keep samples cool and moist, protected from crushing, freezing and heat.
- Label the sample with the pertinent information required.
- Name of Grower
- Date of Collection
- Statement of Problem
- Growers' Telephone Number
The following information should be supplied with the sample.
- Identify the crop, variety and any information on management practices that may have adversely affected the plant; for example fertilizer rates, pesticides applied.
- Identify environmental conditions preceding and during disease development: temperature, humidity, ventilation.
- Note the rate of disease development, coincident with any treatment or environmental event.
Remember: A concise, accurate plant diagnosis can only be completed when a fresh, representative sample of the disease problem is submitted to the laboratory.