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Plant Diagnostic Lab Update (05/05/16)

News and updates on the Plant Diagnostic Lab.

Plant Diagnostic Lab Update

Kasia Kinzer left the lab in January, 2016, after 12 years of service as the lead diagnostician and director of the Plant Diagnostic Lab. After finishing her PhD. in plant pathology at NDSU under Dr. Brueggeman in the fall of 2015, she accepted a position at the University of Idaho.

Replacing her is Jesse Ostrander. Jesse has been with the NDSU PDL since summer of 2013 and has accepted the position as lead diagnostician and director of the lab. He has a bachelor’s in horticulture and a MS degree in Plant Pathology from Kansas State University.

Other lab personnel include Kelsie Mettler, seed health technician. Kelsie graduated from NDSU with a bachelor’s in urban forestry. Her main focus is performing routine tests to detect pathogens in seed lots and assisting with all areas of the PDL.

Services and Fees:

The NDSU PDL is here to help you with your plant problems! We offer a range of services including pathogen identification and management recommendations; insect, plant, and fungal (mold and mushroom) identification; various seed health testing services; visual herbicide injury assessment (no wet chemistry available), and more. To see our common services and current associated fees, please visit our website at . The general services fees are most likely applicable to a field crop sample.

While we have many resources online (our main page is ), we are always available for walk-ins (206 Waldron Hall, NDSU Campus) or by phone (701-231-7854). Additionally, you may find our submission form at . This form helps us gather important information which leads to a higher quality diagnoses. If preferred, we can fill the form out with you in person or by phone.

How To Submit A Sample:

Detailed instructions are located on the bottom, reverse side of the submission form. A summary of important points includes:

  • Take a variety of samples
    • Include healthy, declining, and extremely affected plants or plant tissue whenever possible
    • For turf, take a plug (including roots) that includes the margin between affected and healthy turf
    • Photos are a great addition and occasionally can substitute for a physical sample
  • Send the entire plant whenever feasible
    • If sending photos, try to get different levels of scale; for example: a mass planting, a single affected plant, an individual lesion on a leaf
  • Remove any or as much soil from the sample as possible
  • Wrap the sample in DRYpaper towels
    • If you have roots, they can be separately wrapped in moist paper towels held in place with a rubber band
    • Then wrap the foliage separately in DRY paper towels
  • Place the entire sample in a sealed plastic bag
  • Ship early in the week (Monday or Tuesday suggested)
    • The PDL has two separate addresses, one for mailing (USPS) and one for shipping (private carrier, such as UPS, FedEx)
    • If you collect a sample on a Thursday, I suggest you pack it as above and store in a refrigerator over the weekend

If in doubt, call and I or another staff member will be happy to assist you in collecting the most useful sample. Sample quality is the most important factor in determining the speed and quality of a diagnoses.

What to Expect:

The following is a table of maximum turn-around times for a submitted sample:


Often, a sample can be processed sooner! These times give you a maximum time for a difficult sample or for turn-around times when the lab is at or beyond capacity.

Once your sample has been completed, we will send you a formal report by method of your choice, or update you with a phone call.

Jesse Ostrander

NDSU Plant Diagnostician

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