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Sample submission guidelines

Teagasc has over fifty years of disease diagnosis support to the Horticultural industry in Ireland. In June 2012 we moved to a purpose built laboratory complex based in Ashtown, Dublin 15. Here, we accept samples from the Horticultural industry for analysis and diagnosis.

There is a nominal charge for use of the Ashtown Plant Clinic. Contact brian.mcguinness@teagasc.ie for details of costs and how to send in a sample for testing. Priorty is given to existing Teagasc clients.

The services we currently offer to our customers are as follows:

Level 1: Visual assessment by light microscope.

- If the disease is visible on the sample results in the form of a report can be returned within 3-4 days.

Level 2: Requires some sample manipulation including isolation onto artificial media.

- Often the disease is not visible on the sample. In these cases it may take up to 14 days to obtain a positive identification.

Level 3: Molecular identification.

- If the sample can not be identified following visual assessment, further manipulation and isolation onto artificial media, DNA isolation and a molecular identification may be necessary. This can take up to 3-4 weeks to complete.               

Laminar flow devices:

A quick assessment of sample for presence of Phytophthora spp. or Pythium spp. can be done using laminar flow devices. Results are generally returned on the same day the sample is received.

Sending samples by post:

You can submit samples to the diagnostic service through your Teagasc advisors. If directly sending samples they must be prepared and packaged as follows:

  • Pick a representative sample that is not too diseased (Whole plant is preferable).
  • Carefully dry the sample as best you can.
  • Wrap in brown paper or newspaper
  • Place in a sealed plastic bag

Post in an A4 sized padded envelope or suitably sized box to:


Plant Diagnostics

Ashtown Research Centre

Dublin 15

Include the following information:

  • Plant name and variety
  • Disease symptom description (e.g. leaf spotting, dieback)
  • Geographical location
  • Sample location (e.g. greenhouse, field)
  • Extent of disease ( e.g. 1-2 plants, whole field etc)
  • Name of Teagasc advisor and Client number
  • Your E-mail address and contact details

Upon receipt you will be issued with a unique i.d. number; use this number for any queries relating to your sample.