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Virginia’s “green industry” includes greenhouse, nursery, Christmas tree, and turf and landscape products and services, with an annual economic impact of approximately $3 billion dollars.  Preventing the introduction of harmful foreign pests and pathogens into this valuable industry is a priority for VDACS Plant Pathology Program. Examples of exotic diseases that threaten plant health and pose trade barriers include Phytophthora ramorum, plum pox virus, thousand canker disease, boxwood blight, and Chrysanthemum white rust.

The VDACS Plant Pathology Program helps protect the green industry and growers of agricultural commodities throughout the Commonwealth from diseases of regulatory significance by providing diagnostic services and coordinating statewide plant pathology surveys.

The Services We Provide

Each year the lab processes over 2,000 plant samples as part of statewide surveys for exotic disease. In addition to state-wide surveys that target specific pathogens, the lab receives 300 to 500 routine nursery samples each year. Routine samples typically are sent in by VDACS nursery inspectors who are trained to recognize potential disease issues.  Approximately 10% of the samples received are sent in directly by nursery staff. The lab uses microscopy, culturing, serological, and molecular tests to identify plant pathogens. Clients are provided diagnostic results and science-based management recommendations.

Facilities & Contacts

Updates & Reports

Diseases of Regulatory Concern

Devin Bily
State Plant Pathologist
Lab: 804.385.5177

Click here for Office of Plant Industry Services contact information.

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