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Seed Potato Testing

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Seed Potato Testing

Seed Potato Disease Diagnostic Testing

The Plant Pathology Laboratory (PPL) is collaborates with the Michigan State University Potato and Sugar Beet Pathology Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Michigan Seed Potato Association (MSPA) and other researchers to develop and implement diagnostic and detection methods for Michigan seed potato certification.

Bacterial Pathogens

To support Michigan growers’ interest in exporting seed potatoes to Canada, the PPL is now an approved USDA laboratory to test seed potato for the pathogen Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus for export to Canada. The laboratory can also provide Bacterial blackleg (Dickeya sp.) testing as well. If interested, please contact the laboratory for more information and use this sample submission form for submitting samples.

Viral Pathogens

The PPL also can provide dormant tuber Potato Virus Y (PVY) diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to Michigan seed potato growers interested in gaining additional information about their seed lots. Currently this is not part of official seed certification program by MSPA. The same submission form for bacteria analysis can be used for dormant tuber PVY diagnostic testing.

Nematode Analysis

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN), Globodera pallida (pale cyst nematode) and G. rostochiensis (golden nematode), have been detected in the United States (U.S.) and are considered quarantine pests for both Canada and the U.S. To ensure soil in potato fields are free from Potato Cyst Nematodes and to minimize the risk of spreading Potato Cyst Nematodes to unaffected areas, MDARD participates in the USDA-APHIS PPA 7721 survey for PCN annually.

It is a requirement for shipment of seed potatoes to other countries including Canada. Due to participating in the survey, there is no fee to the grower for the soil sampling and diagnostic testing. Applications for field sampling and testing must be submitted on or before August 31st in the current year of harvest to Plant Pathology Laboratory, 1615 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48848. Application forms can also be emailed to

Quick Link

Seed Potato Disease Diagnostic Testing (PDF): Fees and volume