The Plant Disease Clinic accepts the submission of problematic plant material and soil samples to be analysed for issues such as phytopathogenic bacteria, fungi, fungal-like organisms, viruses and insects. The Clinic aims to provide fast, but accurate diagnoses. Results are normally provided within one to two weeks (depending on the problem at hand). A proper diagnosis is very important to manage plant diseases.
Plant Diseases: Standard analyses include identification of most plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria, as well as cultural and physiological conditions that are apparent and may be responsible for plant problems. If identification of genus and species is required of fungal and bacterial isolates, the Disease Clinic uses various molecular techniques if available. A pure culture is required to perform this procedure with some incubation time. Please be aware that this process may take an additional 5-7 days to complete (as well as an extra fee). The Clinic also uses ELISA-based immunostrips, if available, for the detection of certain bacteria.
Virus Diseases: The Disease Clinic also receives plants to be tested for viruses. This service is sub-contracted to Vironostix (Department of Genetics).
Insect and mite identification: The Disease Clinic also offers a service for insect and mite identifications, with the focus on fruit pests in the Western Cape Province. This service is sub-contracted to consultants from the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology. Specimens are preserved where possible, accessioned and entered into a database for future reference. Where necessary, samples are sent to experts for further processing.