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Palm Phytoplasma Diagnostic Clinic

Relevant Documents for Sample Submission

Palm Sample submission form


Formulario para envío de muestras de fitoplasmas en palmeras

Palm Sampling instructions

Sticky Trap submission form

Formulario de envío de trampas adhesivas para insectos

Sticky Trap instructions

Instrucciones para las trampas adhesivas para insectos

Lethal Bronzing Disease (LBD) - EDIS

Lethal Yellowing (LY) - EDIS

My lab offers a testing service for palms suspected to be infected with phytoplasmas.  This service allows stakeholders to confirm that a phytoplasma (either LY or LBD) was responsible for the decline of the palm in question.  The workflow for this service begins with stakeholders taking proper samples.  Following the sample taking, specimens are shipped overnight to FLREC for processing.  Results are generally sent in 2 weeks but depending on the number samples we have or commitments to various projects, this time can vary.

I do offer an expedited service for $30 and results with letter will be received within 72 hours of receiving sample.  If the expedited service is required, please coordinate with myself at or Ericka Helmick at

If a palm tests positive for either LY or LBD, I recommend immediate removal and destruction of the palm regardless of whether symptoms are present or not.  If a palm tests negative for LY and LBD but you believe it is at risk of infection due to nearby palms testing positive or showing symptoms, I recommend preventative injections of antibiotics (for instructions and relevant information on this process, click here).  If a palm is positive, I highly recommend sampling and testing nearby palms that that may lack symptoms.  A palm in the latent stage of the infection can have the phytoplasma but lack visible symptoms and still contribute to further spread of the disease.  A list of susceptible hosts can be found in the LBD EDIS document above.

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qPCR  - $75/sample

qPCR is a rapid and sensitive technique that allows for the amplifcation of phytoplasma DNA and differentiation between LY and LBD

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duplicate qPCR - $105/sample

The duplicate qPCR option is simply running the sample a second time (replicating) if you are not comfortable with a single test

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dPCR - $205/sample

dPCR is a highly sensitive PCR assay that is 100x more sensitive than qPCR, allowing for earlier detection of phytoplasmas in palms

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