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The Plant Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MDL), located at the University of Georgia Tifton campus, is both a research lab and fee-based service lab of the Department of Plant Pathology. The MDL performs state of the art research with cost-efficient modern disease diagnostic methods across a range of crops. We develop advanced fungicide resistance testing and in vitro sensitivity analysis for understanding the molecular mechanisms of fungicide resistance. We implement statewide major plant disease surveys to detect and quantify disease risks while also providing molecular characterization of newly reported plant pathogens.

The primary mission of the MDL is to provide advanced testing for plant pathogens via molecular and serological methods (PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, LAMP, ELISA, etc.) on plant samples submitted to the laboratory and affected by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or nematodes. We also provide resistance testing for multiple fungal organisms and multiple fungicides. We provide this support to extension & research personnel, commercial growers & homeowners, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture for a wide range of plant species.

Note to Georgia County Extension offices: For routine plant disease diagnosis (currently free of charge when submitted via the UGA Extension system), please continue to submit your physical or digital samples to the appropriate Plant Disease Clinic in Athens or Tifton using the DDDI system. The MDL offers fee-based, specialized diagnostic assays beyond the routine services provided by the UGA Plant Disease Clinics.