The Plant Diagnostic Lab provides three major services:

  1. Plant samples are examined for disease, insect, nutrient, cultural, and herbicide problems.
  2. Soil samples are analyzed for plant parasitic nematodes.
  3. Insect samples are identified.

In addition to the above, plant and fungal identifications are also made. After samples are examined, tested, analyzed, and/or identified, Extension Specialists respond with the diagnosis or identification and control recommendation(s). Samples received at the Plant Diagnostic Lab may be examined by plant pathologists, nematologists, entomologists, agronomists, horticulturists, or weed scientists, depending upon the sample. Responses are sent by phone, e-mail, fax, or letter. Generally, our responses are made within one week from the time of sample receipt. Some tests and /analyses require more time. Before sending samples to the lab, consult our publications for more information on the lab and for directions on collecting, packaging and mailing plant, soil, and insect samples (ANR-450 and ANR-114).  Also, examine and download our plant (ANR-89B), soil nematode (F-7), and/or insect forms as appropriate.

Service Fees

  • For Plant Problem and Disease Diagnosis:
    • $10 – $30, depending upon tests/analyses required
    • Homeowner sample charges are usually $10 – $15
    • Commercial sample charges are usually $20 – $25
  • For Insect Identification:  
      • $5 – $20, depending upon work done
      • Routine identification $5
      • Microscopic study $10
    • Commercial/industrial samples $20
  • For Soil Nematode Analysis: $10.Nematode extraction from soil and roots, identification, and recommendations.  Send Soil Nematode Samples to the Auburn Diagnostic Laboratory, 101 Extension Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5624

(*Charges are not made on plant, and fungal identifications.)

If you have questions, contact us:

James Jacobi, Plant Pathologist/ Lab Supervisor
Phone: (205) 879-6964 ext. 19
FAX: (205)414-3906

* Please note that soil mineral analysis is performed at the Soil Testing Laboratory which is separate from the both Plant Diagnostic Labs. The Soil Test Lab can be reached at (334) 844-3958