Plant Diagnostic Lab


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Submit a Sample

Lab Forms

For the general public, please select a lab form, available by clicking on one of the options below (general lab form or seed health form), fill it in as completely as possible, and send it with the sample. See How to Submit a Sample, below, for details.

  • General lab form - for routine diagnosis, identification requests, crop/ornamental/garden/tree/turf/nursery samples
  • Seed health form - for seed health or phytosanitary samples

How to Submit a Sample

For NDSU Extension personnel who have a PDIS Submitter account, please click PDIS Submitter Login to access the online database.

For the general public, please print off a lab form (see above; available in pdf format), complete it as thoroughly as possible, and mail it with the sample. Information can also be emailed to the NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab.

Out-of-state samples: The permit that allows the plant diagnostician to accept out-of-state samples requires that samples be double-bagged with re-sealable plastic bags and placed in a sturdy shipping box with all seams taped.

Photographs: Photographs can be helpful when submitted with a physical sample, particularly for tree and turf problems. Multiple photos are most informative. Photos should show the entire planting site (the 'big picture'), individually affected specimens or affected areas (e.g. an entire tree, including the root flare), and close-ups of problem areas. Ideally, photos are of high resolution, in focus, and sent as attachments via .

Plants: For general plant problems, try to send several affected plants showing a range of symptoms. Dead plants rarely are informative - avoid sending completely dead plants. Try to send entire plants, when feasible, since some above-ground symptoms can be caused by a problem with the lower stem or roots. During shipment, try to keep soil from contacting leaves (soil will rot the leaves). Loosely wrap above-ground parts in dry paper towels to absorb condensation (to prevent decay), then place the entire sample in a loosely folded plastic bag. Do not allow leaves, paper tags, or labels to come in contact with soil.

Mushrooms and fruits: Wrap mushrooms or fruits in DRY paper towels or newspaper and place in a sturdy box to avoid crushing.

Insects: Send small insects in a small vial of alcohol (never in an envelope). Pack large insects, such as moths, in cotton. Please DO NOT SEND LIVE INSECTS. Insects should be dead.

Turfgrass samples: 3-5" diameter plugs of intact turf that are 2-4" deep (deep enough to include the roots) are ideal. The best sample consists of a completely diseased plug, a healthy plug, and a plug from the transition zone between diseased and healthy turf.

Dutch elm disease testing: Live, symptomatic branches that are at least 1" in diameter and 6-8" long should be submitted, preferably with leaves still attached.

Soil samples for soybean cyst nematode testing or root rot indexing:
1. Use a soil probe to collect samples, from the top 6 inches in depth.
2. Using a zigzag pattern, collect 10-20 soil cores per every 10 to 20 acres.
3. Collect cores from areas of similar soil type and crop history.
4. Dump cores from each 10-20 acre set into a bucket or tub and mix thoroughly.
5. For soybean cyst nematode, send 1 pint (2 cups) of mixed soil in a soil sampling bag or plastic zippered bag. For root rot indexing (sugar beet Aphanomyces cochlioides), send about 1 gallon (32 cups) of soil per 10-20 acre set. Label the bags with a permanent marker. Don't allow paper labels to come in contact with soil.
6. Store sample in a cool, dark place until shipped to the lab. Ship as soon as possible.

Potato Bacterial Ring Rot testing

Canada Export protocol (for seed potato destined for Canada):

  •  For the Canada Export protocol, send a representative sample of 400 whole tubers. (method: ELISA and IFA, with PCR as a verification for any positives detected)
  • For general screening (PCR only), send a representative sample of tubers (number of tubers depends; typically 1000 to 2000 tubers is recommended; call for more information).
  • Stem-end cores about 1 cubic centimeter in size (see video clip below) can be submitted in lieu of whole tubers. Cores should be allowed to suberize before shipping to avoid decay. Sending cores saves on shipping, but it does not usually save time or labor, because additional handling is still usually required on our end, so we cannot apply a discount.

Physical location (Walk-ins are welcome)

Waldron Hall, room 206. Click here for a campus map.

US Postal Service Mailing Address

NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab
NDSU Dept 7660
PO Box 6050
Fargo, North Dakota 58108-6050

Physical Mailing Address (non-US Postal Service; private courier)

NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab
1402 Albrecht Blvd.
Walster Hall, 306
Fargo, North Dakota 58102




Submitting A Sample for Potato Bacterial Ring Rot Testing

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