Diagnosing plant diseases: what do we ask and why do we ask for it?

Adorada, Dante L. and Sigel, Luise and Kelly, Lisa and Sparks, Adam H. (2017) Diagnosing plant diseases: what do we ask and why do we ask for it? GRDC Extension AUS , 4 (8).

Abstract

Diagnosing a plant disease or other injury is like going to a medical doctor who must ask several questions before making an accurate diagnosis and recommending a treatment. If you withhold information, it can lead to a misdiagnosis. The same goes for crop diseases. Plant pathologists, specifically diagnosticians, are often asked “What is wrong with my plant; followed by, what can I do to manage the problem?” In most cases it may be too late to save the specific plant, but a correct diagnosis is important to prescribe methods that prevent the problem on other plants or in the future.
So how do we go about diagnosing plant diseases? Proper identification of diseases and of the causal agents is vital in prescribing a sound disease management strategy, avoiding further losses and preventing the waste of time and money.
Often, we rely on symptoms for the identification of a disease. As similar symptoms can be produced by different causal agents, the use of symptoms alone in most cases is an inadequate method for disease identification. While other
methods for identification are available, it may also take a week or more to accurately identify the disease-causing agent.
So, what can diagnosticians do? Asking many questions related to the plants’ environmental and cultural factors to help eliminate or identify possible causes of the problem. To help gather this information we provide disease diagnosis request forms for you to fill out when requesting our free diagnostic services. It is important that you use the form relevant to the laboratory you are submitting a sample to.
QDAF Plant Disease Enquiry Form 
USQ Centre for Crop Health Plant Disease Diagnosis Submission Form 
Disease testing services around Australia Information gathered from these forms is crucial in helping narrow the problem down to a few suspects, which will require further study in the laboratory before making a final diagnosis. Regardless of the outcome, a recommendation will be given as to what should be done with the problem.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2018 00:48
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 03:00
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820503 Grain Legumes
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820405 Soybeans
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820507 Wheat
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820402 Rice
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820404 Sorghum
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820401 Maize
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820501 Barley
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820403 Safflower Seed
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8205 Winter Grains and Oilseeds > 820506 Oats
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820499 Summer Grains and Oilseeds not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33788

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