The Plant Disease Clinic and Field Diagnosis of Abiotic Diseases

Malcolm C. Shurtleff and Charles W. Averre, III 
APS Press  1997  

Hardcover  256 pages, 110 colour photographs, 32 B/W illus  ISBN 0890542171      £85.00
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 state-wide or a county basis. It covers:

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 table of contents is as follows:

  • 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
  • References
  • The Plant Disease Clinic: Receiving area, Office and Records, Examination Room, Equipment and Supplies, Field Clinics, Sample Forms, Gathering Information, Examining Field Problems, Recording Field Information, Collecting, Preparing, and Shipping Specimens, Diagnosing in the Field, Field Disease Signatures, Postharvest Disease Problems, Mycotoxins and Mycotoxicoses, Using the Field Diagnosis for Laboratory Confirmation, References
  • 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
  • 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
  • Measurements and Conversions: Weights, Area Measures, Cubic Measures, Volumes, Linear (or Distance) Measures, Dillutions, Miscellaneous Weights and Measures, Weights per Unit Area, Metric-English Conversion Factors, Temperature Conversions
  • Glossary
  • Sterilizing agents, Heat sterilization, Surface sterilization, Liquid Sterilization by Filtration
  • Culture Media, Formulas, and Procedures: NCSU Media, Other Common Media for Fungi and Bacteria, Common Selective Media for Plant-Pathogenic Bacteria, References
  • Fixatives: Mounting and Staining Fungi for Microscopic Examination, Mounting and Staining Media, Stains for Freehand Sections, Stains for Paraffin Sections, Staining Bacteria for Microscopic Examination, Gram's Stain, Staining Flagella, Staining Cell Walls, Staining Spores, Staining Bacteria in Host Tissues, Cements for Sealing Mounts
  • Cleaning Solutions
  • Glassware: ELISA Plates
  • Temperature and Humidity Control: Cabinets and Growth Chambers, Small, Airtight Containers
  • pH Indicators. Buffers
  • Collection, Preparation, and Mailing of Cultures and Specimens
  • Preserving Specimens: Wet Specimens, Dry Specimens
  • Selected References for Appendixes
  • Index

To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
American Phytopathological Society : agriculture & forestry : analytical methods : bacteriology : cell culture : crop protection : diagnostics : disease control : field guides : horticulture : immunoassay : integrated crop protection : laboratory techniques : methods : microbiology : mycology : mycotoxins : plant pathology : soil science : toxicology

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