Diagnostic testing for aster yellows

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Symptoms of aster yellows may be subtle and resemble those caused by other factors. (See separate article about scouting and identification in this issue.) In many situations with ornamentals, a definitive diagnosis is helpful and allows managers to make better disease management decisions. One of the services that the MSU Diagnostic Services lab offers is molecular based (PCR) testing for aster yellows. This test method is accurate and extremely sensitive.

Samples submitted for aster yellows testing should include live plant tissue (foliage, stems, flowers). Leaves from multiple areas of the plant should be submitted. Entire plants may be submitted, but this is not required. Samples should be accompanied by a diagnostic submittal form, note on the form that you would like the sample tested for aster yellows. There is a $25 diagnostic charge for aster yellows testing of plant samples. Test results will be completed in approximately one week.

Samples can be dropped off in person or shipped via USPS or another postal carrier; this is true for all diagnostic samples. Samples should be shipped in boxes with overnight or priority mail delivery, do not ship samples on Fridays.

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