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Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases
Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases

Advice for setting up a plant disease clinic and methods for identifying plant diseases and disorders.

Item No. 42171

This handbook combines practical advice on setting up a plant disease clinic and methods for diagnosing plant diseases and disorders. Written by two veteran plant diagnosticians, it is the most complete resource available on how to offer an efficient, accurate diagnostic service to growers on a statewide or a county basis.

The Plant Disease Clinic:

This guide explains how to organize, equip, and operate a plant disease clinic. It offers precise details on how much space and what kind of equipment and supplies a clinic needs to handle specimens properly. Specific recommendations cover material and procedures needed to receive, store, examine, record, and report on specimens.

Gathering Information:

The authors describe how to gather information both by direct field observation and by indirect methods, including consultation with growers and specialists. They present step-by-step methods for scouting and monitoring fields with specific advice on how and when to collect samples, and how to look for clues to a disease's signature, including symptoms, field patterns, grower practices, and disease history.


This guide offers advice on creating a routine for handling specimens efficiently and making accurate diagnoses. It gives specific suggestions on what to do with a sample from the time it is checked into the clinic until it leaves, including how to conduct a preliminary examination and when to send the sample to a specialized laboratory for further analysis. To enable readers to work easily with all types of microorganisms, this volume includes recipes for over 200 culture media for fungi and bacteria, methods for temperature and humidity control, and information on fixatives, mounting and staining media, sealants for microscope slides, pH indicators, and buffers. It features advice on how to collect, prepare, and mail cultures and plant specimens. Key forms required by state governments are included for quick reference.

Practical Advice:

This guide is designed for agricultural inspectors, agronomists, county agents, plant diagnosticians, extension specialists, horticulturists, IPM consultants, plant pathologists, professionals at agribusiness companies, students, and teachers.

The Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases

Chapter 1: Introduction to Plant Disease Diagnosis

Reasons for Diagnosing Plant Diseases
The Diagnostician
Diversity of Clinic Specimens
Plant Disease Characteristics
Concepts in Diagnosing Plant Diseases
Levels of Reliability (Confidence) in Making Diagnoses
Steps in Diagnosing Plant Diseases

Chapter 2: The Plant Disease Clinic

Receiving area
Office and Records
Examination Room
Equipment and Supplies
Field Clinics
Sample Forms

Chapter 3: Gathering Information

Examining Field Problems
Recording Field Information
Collecting, Preparing, and Shipping Specimens

Chapter 4: Diagnosing in the Field

Field Disease Signatures
Postharvest Disease Problems
Mycotoxins and Mycotoxicoses
Using the Field Diagnosis for Laboratory Confirmation
University-related plant disease and soil testing laboratories in the United States and Canada
Some problem plant species associations or planting sequences
Susceptibility of some plant species to juglone from roots of black walnut and related species

Chapter 5: Diagnosing in the Clinic

Handling Plants and Clinic Routine
Plant Examination and Techniques
Enhancing the Presence of Fungi
Care and Use of Microscopes
Injury Caused by Soil pH and Soluble Salts
Plant species that may tolerate soils that are very strongly acidic or strongly alkaline without serious injury
Plant species and their sensitivity to soil soluble salts and, where indicated, to airborne salt spray

Chapter 6: Measurements and Conversions

Area Measures
Cubic Measures
Linear (or Distance) Measures
Miscellaneous Weights and Measures
Weights per Unit Area
Metric-English Conversion Factors
Temperature Conversions


Appendix A: Sterilizing agents

Heat sterilization
Surface sterilization
Liquid Sterilization by Filtration

Appendix B: Culture Media, Formulas, and Procedures

NCSU Media
Other Common Media for Fungi and Bacteria
Common Selective Media for Plant-Pathogenic Bacteria

Appendix C: Fixatives

Appendix D: Mounting and Staining Fungi for Microscopic Examination

Mounting and Staining Media
Stains for Freehand Sections
Stains for Paraffin Sections

Appendix E: Staining Bacteria for Microscopic Examination

Gram's Stain
Staining Flagella
Staining Cell Walls
Staining Spores
Staining Bacteria in Host Tissues

Appendix F: Cements for Sealing Mounts

Appendix G: Cleaning Solutions

ELISA Plates

Appendix H: Temperature and Humidity Control

Cabinets and Growth Chambers
Small, Airtight Containers

Appendix I: pH Indicators

Appendix J: Buffers

Appendix K: Collection, Preparation, and Mailing of Cultures and Specimens

Appendix L: Preserving Specimens

Wet Specimens
Dry Specimens

Selected References for Appendixes
Color Plates
Publish Date: 1997
Format: 8.5" x 11" hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89054-217-0
Pages: 256
Images: 110 color images; 32 black and white images
Publication Weight: 3 lbs

By Malcolm C. Shurtleff and Charles W. Averre, III

List Price:104.00
The Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases

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