Nematode Assay Lab

Due to COVID-19, our laboratory building is closed to the public until further notice and staff are working under a modified operation status.  Diagnosticians for the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic labs continue to process samples, but hours in the lab are limited per State mandate. All staff remain available during work hours via email and voicemail. Please be patient as you may experience slightly longer response times.

Samples from agricultural and other commercial growers and clients will be prioritized over residential samples. Residential clients are encouraged to initially send (at no charge) photographs of unhealthy plants, plant pests, or plant/weed identifications to our diagnostician, Meg Williamson, at mwllmsn@clemson.edu. If an identification cannot be made from photographs, the residential client may then send a physical sample to the lab, which will be charged the usual sample fee. 

Samples may be shipped to our building via UPS, FedEx, and USPS. Please limit weight of packages to 10 pounds or less. IMPORTANT: staff will only be in the lobby to receive packages on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Shippers should select a method and shipping date that will ensure packages arrive on one of those days of the week. Samples may also be dropped off at our building’s drop box located at our rear loading dock, which also houses sample forms, bags, and other supplies. Please notify Lab Coordinator Diana Low (dlow@clemson.edu or (864) 646-2133) when a sample is placed in the drop box.

Per declaration of the State Entomologist, until further notice we will not accept samples for Insect Identification of a biting/stinging nature unless submitted in ethanol by a physician, public health official, or pest control operator.

We thank you for your understanding of our compliance with these important public health measures mandated by the State of South Carolina and Clemson University.

Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on virtually all plant life. They can cause substantial damage to plants by feeding on the roots, thus hampering or even destroying the plant's ability to absorb nutrients and water.  Nematodes can also transmit plant pathogens or increase the susceptibility of plants to diseases.  Nematode losses are not restricted to commercial growers.  The home garden, landscape ornamentals, lawns, and fruit trees can also be severely damaged.

As a result of the root damage, plants show reduced growth, nutrient deficiency symptoms such as yellowing of foliage, excessive wilting in hot or dry weather, and reduced yields.  Damage often occurs in randomly spaced patches in a field or yard.

The only way to positively identify the type and extent of a suspected nematode problem is by a laboratory assay of a soil sample.  Ideally, this should be done before a crop is planted so the grower can choose a resistant variety, a non-host crop, or apply a nematicide if the assay results indicate a nematode problem.  The optimum time to sample crops is near harvest. Lawns, trees, and shrubs may be sampled any time of the year.  We recommend annual sampling for nematodes.

Samples may be submitted through the County Extension offices or directly to the laboratory. Each location has the supplies needed for submitting samples.  The sample submission form for Nematode Assay may be found in the right-hand column of this page.  Our laboratories include the Nematode Assay Lab, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic , Commercial Turfgrass Clinic and MPPD Lab.  Our laboratory address is:

 

Clemson University
511 Westinghouse Road
Pendleton, SC 29670

(864) 646-2133

ppclnc@clemson.edu


 

Laboratory hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(closed during lunch hour, noon - 1:00 p.m.)