Plant Pathology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Disease Clinic

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The last day for accepting samples in the Plant Disease Clinic is 8 December 2020 and samples will then again be accepted from 18 January 2021.  We hope you’ll have a wonderful festive season and thank you for your loyal support during 2020.

All samples to be submitted by 12:00 pm from Monday - Friday.  All safety protocols have been put in place.  Please stay safe, stay healthy and let’s avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Submission of samples during Covid-19: Disease Clinic and Covid-19 Lockdown

The Plant Disease Clinic is a service laboratory situated within the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Stellenbosch. The clinic started its activities in October 2000, and specialists in the field of plant pathology, diagnose problems on the samples received. We diagnose all types of fungal or bacterial diseases on various crops, including trees, shrubs, vegetables, fruit, ornamentals, etc. Virus diseases and insect identifications are also managed by consultants from Vironostix and the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology.  Leaf and soil samples for nutritional shortages and nematode analysis can, on request, be sent to experts in that particular field.  Diagnosis can take between one and 2 weeks to be completed, although new diseases require additional pathogenicity tests, which will take much longer.  Each sample submitted will receive a written diagnostic report, explaining the findings, and listing any available control recommendations.

When sending a sample to the Plant Disease Clinic, please include the relevant Diagnostic Form.  Follow our collection and submission tips when submitting samples. Samples that are improperly collected, packed, and/or shipped and are received in a poor condition are very difficult to diagnose.

We aim to provide fast, but accurate diagnoses and always seek new methods for minimising diagnoses time. The digital camera, used conventionally or through microscope lenses, has become a useful diagnostic aid. It enables us to forward digital images of pathogen structures to international experts for verification. Experience gained through work done for the private sector is shared with producers. We also provide valuable practical training for under- and postgraduate students.

Like most established Disease Diagnostic Clinics in the world, we also promote the "Test, Don't Guess" attitude.

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United Export, with visitors from Chili, visited the Disease Clinic on 15 October 2019, to discuss diseases on blue berries.