The Front Line for Solving Plant Health Problems in Louisiana: 2010-2020 Progress Report

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Percentage of samples received from various commodities during last decade

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Percentage of samples from 2010 to 2020 diagnosed as various biotic and abiotic plant stresses

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Physical and digital samples submitted by commercial and homeowner clients from 2010 to 2020


Samples submitted by extension agents and commercial and consumer clientele from 2010 to 2020


Diagnostic methods used to diagnose plant health problems from 2010 to 2020

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Plant Diagnostic Center is to provide accurate and rapid diagnostics of plant health problems caused by various biotic and abiotic stresses along with their best management practices to commercial and consumer stakeholders statewide.

Accurate and Rapid Diagnoses

During the last decade, 6,892 physical samples and 2,576 digital samples received at the Plant Diagnostic Center were diagnosed using conventional and modern molecular diagnostic techniques. More than 500 site visits were made to commercial horticultural operations and home gardens to help solve plant health problems in collaboration with LSU AgCenter extension field faculty.

Detection Support to Regulatory Agencies

Each year, we participate in cooperative agriculture pest surveys conducted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and provide pest and pathogen detection support.

■ Citrus canker and citrus greening — 1,008

■ Sudden oak death — 1,890

Extension Educational Programs

Extension educational programs are developed and delivered to increase stakeholders’ knowledge of identifying and managing invasive and domestic plant diseases specific to high-risk horticulture commodities in Louisiana.

■ 285 extension seminars were developed and delivered to 12,394 participants.

☐ 1,670 Master Gardeners were trained during 73 sessions.

☐ 1,460 ornamental and turfgrass professionals were trained during 22 sessions.

☐ 9,264 commercial and consumer stakeholders were educated during 190 sessions.

Plant Health Management Extension Fact Sheets

These extension fact sheets contain detailed information on symptoms, signs, life cycles, environmental factors and integrated disease management. During the last 10 years, more than 50 fact sheets have been developed as a source of information for consumer and commercial clientele of Louisiana.

Train the Trainer

These trainings are focused on making the extension agents more self-reliant in addressing plant health issues in their parishes. In addition to providing plant diagnostic support, I assist them by being available to help deal with stakeholders’ problems. Since 2010, 282 agricultural and natural resource agents have been trained.

New Plant Disease Reports

New disease reports are research-based short communications about new findings of hosts, pathogens or new geographical locations that are important to advisers, growers, diagnosticians, researchers, regulatory officials, other practitioners and the public. Since 2010, 18 new disease reports have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and four are first reports in the United States.

Plant Diagnostics Internship

Since 2010, 22 international scholars, including eight graduate and two undergraduate students, have successfully completed the plant health diagnostics training geared toward educating the next generation of plant doctors.

Free Plant Health Clinics

The Plant Diagnostic Center has participated in 108 free plant health clinics at garden shows and field days organized by the LSU AgCenter, allowing the general public to have plant health questions answered immediately.

11/17/2021 4:23:16 PM
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