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Publication #PP319

Plant Diagnostic Clinic and HLB Lab1

Pamela Roberts, Shea Teems, Joubert Fayette, and Jamie Burrow2

This publication is best viewed as a pdf.

Assisting Florida growers and homeowners in plant disease management.

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Southwest Florida Research and Education Center



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About Us

  • The Plant Pathology program at the UF/ IFAS Southwest Research and Education Center, also part of the Florida Plant Diagnostic Network, delivers plant diagnostic services to the state and region.

  • The HLB (Huanglongbing; citrus greening) lab provides real time PCR diagnosis for detection of the HLB pathogen.

  • The Plant Diagnostic Clinic offers disease and insect identification services to all Florida citizens.

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  • The HLB lab facility has been serving the citrus community since 2008.

  • The Plant Diagnostic Clinic was fully reopened in 2014.


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What is the cost to have a sample tested?

  • There is no fee for HLB samples to members of the citrus industry. All others may contact the lab regarding this service.

What type of sample should be sent?

  • Leaf samples should be collected from symptomatic branches, if present.

  • Collect 5 to 10 leaves with stems intact from live branches with fully expanded leaves.

  • Please do not submit fruit samples.

  • Place the sample into a resealable plastic bag (e.g. Zip-lock), squeeze the air from the bag, and seal it.

  • Assign and record on the bag a unique sample identification number such as sample ID or other unique identifying information such as block, row, and tree.

  • Complete an HLB Sample Submission Form (

  • Samples should be submitted in person or shipped overnight either on the day collected or before noon the following day (samples will deteriorate if delayed in transit).

  • Keep samples cool (on ice) until shipment. Samples can be kept refrigerated overnight before sending. Do not freeze samples.

How long does it take to receive the results?

  • Results will be submitted to the client in a timely manner. Sample results are generally returned within two to four weeks via email.

Plant Diagnostic Clinic

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What is the cost to have a sample tested?

  • The Plant Diagnostic Clinic charges $40.00 per sample.

What types of plants are tested?

  • Any agricultural crop in the South Florida region can be submitted for testing. The most common plants tested are tomatoes, watermelons, bell peppers, squash, citrus, and many more.

What type of disorders can be tested?

  • The clinic will run diagnostic tests to determine if there is a plant disease. If no pathogens are detected, then the symptoms may be caused by other problems such as phytotoxicity or nutritional disorder.

  • The clinic does not test soil samples.

What type of sample should be sent?

  • Leaves, fruit, roots, or the entire plant will be accepted for testing.

  • Sample should be of sufficient quantity and quality for testing.

  • Details can be found on Diagnostic Clinic submission forms.

How long does it take to receive the results?

  • The length of time to make a diagnosis will vary depending on the testing required for each sample submission.

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Location & Mailing Address

Samples are accepted via drop off, US Mail, or other delivery services Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To confirm the lab is open and accepting deliveries, please contact the lab at 239-658-3431.

HLB Samples

2685 State Road 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142

All Other Plant Samples

Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic
2685 State Road 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142

It is recommended to ship samples early in the week to ensure arrival before the weekend.


UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center

Pamela Roberts, Ph.D.
Plant Pathologist
Shea Teems
HLB Lab Manager
Plant Diagnostic Lab


UF/ IFAS Extension Offices with Citrus Agents

Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lake, Polk, St. Lucie, and Sumter


UF/IFAS Southwest Florida REC:

UF/IFAS Southwest Florida REC Plant Pathology:

HLB Diagnostic Lab and Submission Form:

Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic and Submission Form:

Local UF/IFAS Extension Office:

Florida Plant Diagnostic Network:

For more information, please contact the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee 239-658-3400



This document is NEWPUB, one of a series of the Plant Pathology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2015. Visit the EDIS website at


Pamela Roberts, professor, Plant Pathology Department; Shea Teems, HLB lab manager; Joubert Fayette, diagnostician, Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic; Southwest Florida Research and Education Center; and Jamie Burrow, program coordinator, canker, HLB, and Exotic Diseases Extension education, Citrus REC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.