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Plant Disease Diagnostic Services

We provide a wide range of disease diagnostic and plant DNA identification services for the public, industry and government agencies:

  • Disease diagnosis
  • Fungal identification (including mushrooms and wood decay fungi)
  • Pathogen detection and isolation (including soil, water and mulch)
  • Tree root identification
  • Advice and treatment recommendations.

There are many benefits of this service:

  • Better management of pests and diseases
  • Healthier plants
  • Better management of parks and gardens
  • Reduced use of chemicals.


Service Commercial Non-Commercial (20% discount) Non-Commercial (Foundation & Friends 40% discount)
Fungal and Bacterial Isolation (incl. morphological ID): First sample $200 $160 $120
Fungal and Bacterial Isolation: Each additional sample $60 $48 $36
Oomycete Soil Test (incl. Pythium and Phytophthora): First Sample $200 $160 $120
Oomycete Soil Test: Each additional sample $60 $48 $36
DNA: Wood Decay Fungi Test (incl. Armillaria, Ganoderma, Phellinus): First sample $250 $200 $150
DNA: Wood Decay Fungi Test: Each additional sample $75 $60 $45
DNA: Fungal ID by BLAST analysis: First sample $280 $224 $168
DNA: Fungal ID by BLAST analysis: Each additional sample $80 $64 $48
DNA: Fungal ID by phylogenetic analysis $400 $360 $240
DNA: Root ID by BLAST analysis: First sample $280 $224 $168
DNA: Root ID by BLAST analysis: Each additional sample $80 $64 $48
Please note that all pricing above is exclusive of GST


Contact Us

Please contact us before sending any samples:

Telephone: 02 9231 8186
Email: pddu@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

Deliver specimens to:
Plant Disease Diagnostic Unit
Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust
Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000

Select live material:

  • Root diseases: collect samples of soil and diseased roots from several places around and beneath plants. Dig four holes at each cardinal point, away from the trunk or main stem, roughly below the canopy drip-line. Scrape away leaf litter or mulch and dig down about 15 cm, collecting 1-2 cups of soil. Combine samples together to make a 4-8 cup (approximate) composite sample. Where possible, part or whole root system should be included. Disinfect tools with 70% methylated spirits between samples to avoid cross contamination.
  • Foliar diseases: collect a range of mildly to severely infected and healthy leaves, stems or branches, place in newspaper or paper bags, then wrap in plastic 
  • Insect and mite pests: collect several pests and some of the damaged plant material
  • Wilt diseases: dig up plants and submit all of the plant material if practical
  • Fungal decay and rot: forward rotted material and fruiting bodies of any fungi
  • Potted plants: collect healthy and diseased whole specimens
  • Tree root identification: collect young actively growing roots where possible (at least 4-5 cm).
  • Soil samples should be placed in labelled plastic bags (e.g. zip-lock bags) and then secured in sturdy containers
  • Herbaceous shoots, leaves, branches, roots, flowers and fruits should be wrapped in paper towels and placed in a labelled plastic bag
  • Insects, fungal specimens, including mushrooms and bracket fungi, and host material should be placed in a sturdy container, e.g. take-away plastic containers (preferably non-glass)
  • Label each specimen clearly with your name and sample number/name using a permanent marker
  • For invoicing and tracking purposes, please include your name, address, phone number, email address and ABN (commercial) or date of birth (non-commercial)
  • Also include any information you can provide about the specimens.

Note: Please also verify that you agree with the service cost to speed up processing of the samples.