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Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology


Diagnostic Network

Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network Plays Key Role

Ohio State and the Ohio Department of Agriculture are partners in the Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network (OPDN), a statewide collaboration that enhances our ability to protect Ohio's crops, forests and food supply.


The accurate identification of plant diseases and pests is crucial to preventing outbreaks that can devastate our food supply and the environment. Plant diagnostic laboratories provide key services in the identification and diagnosis of plant diseases, insects, and environmental disorders. If harmful pathogens and pests are detected in Ohio, communication between OSU Extension, industry, and regulatory agencies such as the Ohio Department of Agriculture and USDA is critical in formulating responses.


The Ohio Plant Diagnostic Network formally links plant health professionals and diagnostic resources at Ohio State's C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic (CFAES Wooster Campus), and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Monitoring the distribution and severity of plant diseases that impact Ohio's economy and environment is a critical function of the diagnostic clinic.  A key element of the OPDN is the creation of a virtual network to link laboratories across Ohio and the U.S. with digital technology and videoconferencing, greatly enhancing capabilities for remote diagnostics and teaching, including seminars throughout the state and for researchers and growers.


The OPDN diagnostic clinic examined over 1200 submitted disease samples annually.  Timely advice, based on clinic findings, is disseminated to stakeholder groups and the public through OSU Extension seminars, training workshops, newsletters and websites.  Clinic Program Director Dr. Francesca Rotondo partecipated in many extension events, lecturing seminars to over 1000 people annually, and clinic information was also utilized by OSU Extension specialists and educators throughout the state.

The Clinic also plays a key role in monitoring threats to Ohio such as soybean rust (sentinel plot monitoring), wheat blast (found in Kentucky), boxwood blight (recent nursery concern), Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut (detected in Tennessee), and insects such as Asian longhorned beetle and woolly adelgid.  Clinic personnel also provide training to Master Gardeners and students in plant pathology classes at OSU.

OPDN co-director Nancy Taylor, Plant Pathology

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