Molecular Plant Pathogen Detection Lab (MPPD Lab)

The Molecular Pathogen and Pest Detection Lab (MPPD) utilizes molecular techniques to identify plant pathogens, especially those of USDA-APHIS regulatory concern.  Certain bee pathogens and Africanized honey bees are also identified. The main purpose of the lab is to support detection and survey efforts of the Department of Plant Industry. It also supports South Carolina growers through the early detection of plant diseases. 

Pathogens and pests are identified by either standard or real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or by morphology in some cases. The PCR process allows us to amplify a trace amount of pathogen or pest DNA into a larger and detectable amount of DNA.  This technique enables much faster identification than traditional techniques, and can also be used to identify pathogens that are difficult to isolate and culture. 

For more information regarding the MPPD Lab, call (864) 646-2133 and ask for Curt Colburn, or email