Pest and Disease Diagnostics for International Trade and Food Security

International Workshop in OhioInternational Short Course

The Ohio State University
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Wooster, Ohio  USA


The Ohio State University hosts a two-week, lab-based short course to provide intensive training in classical and modern plant disease and insect pest diagnostics.

Training in data management, and Sanitary/Phytosanitary (SPS) issues that affect international trade is also be provided.

Enrollment is limited to 15 participants each summer.  For information on upcoming workshops, contact Sally Miller:

Preliminary List of Topics Covered

  • Art and Science of Plant Disease Diagnosis
  • Sampling/sample submission procedure and contact information for unusual samples
  • Monitoring for high risk plant pathogens
  • Distance Diagnostics through Digital Imaging
  • Clinic Information Management System (CIMS)     
  • Digital Diagnostic Imaging System (DDIS) and Communication Tools
  • Developing and using Standard Operating Protocols Tuesday (SOPs) for pathogen and insect pest diagnoses
  • Diagnosis of diseases caused by viruses and viroids
  • Virology laboratory - hands-on
    Symptoms of virus diseases
  • Diagnosis of diseases caused by bacteria and phytoplasmas
  • Bacteriology laboratory - hands-on
    Symptoms of bacterial diseases
    Microscopic techniques
    Culturing and definitive tests
  • Diagnosis of diseases caused by fungi and fungal-like pathogens
  • Web-based resources for fungal identification
  • Hands-on diagnosis of fungi and oomycetes - laboratory
    Moist chambers
    Culturing; non-selective and selective media
  • General insect diagnostic techniques
  • Insect diagnostics labs - hands-on
    General insect characteristics (Orders)
    Web tools
    Key characteristics needed for remote identification                       
    PCR for insect pest diagnostics
  • Mites of agricultural importance
  • Insect pests of tropical flowers: developing a clean stock program
  • Diagnosis of diseases caused by nematodes
  • Nematology laboratory ? hands-on
  • Introduction to Sanitary/Phytosanitary (SPS) Requirements for Trade
  • Diagnostics at the US federal level (USDA APHIS)
  • Food safety of fresh vegetables

Potential Case Studies (these are previous case study topics; we are open to new suggestions)

Case study: insect group Hemiptera: Homoptera group (lab)

Case study: Phytophthora

Case study: Ralstonia solanacearum

Case study: insect group Hemiptera: Homoptera, group                   

Case study: insect group Lepidoptera: Pyralidae and Noctuidae, group

Case study: insect group Thysanoptera: Thripidae and  Diptera: Tephritidae, Agromyzidae, group

Case study: Mycotoxins in cereals


Dr. Sally Miller (contact)
Department of Plant Pathology
1680 Madison Ave
Wooster OH  44691  USA

Tel. 01-330-263-3678
Fax: 01-330-263-3841

Dr. Luis Canas
Department of Entomology
1680 Madison Ave
Wooster OH  44691  USA

Tel. 01-330-263-3818
Fax: 01-330-263-3686

Take a virtual tour of OARDC-Wooster on YouTube

Cooperating Departments, Institutions and Agencies

  • The Ohio State University
     Department of Plant Pathology
     Department of Entomology
     Office of International Programs in Agriculture
  • University of Florida
  • Purdue University
  • Virginia Tech
  • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
  • National Plant Diagnostic Network
  • International Plant Diagnostic Network
  • US Agency for International Development

Costs (Subject to change)

Registration fee: $250 (non-refundable)

Course fee: $4,000 (non-refundable after July 1)

Course fee includes instruction/bench fee, materials, local travel (except to/from airport), local meals and lodging.