Extension Plant Pathology & Microbiology (ExtPLPM)
In the Dept of Plant Pathology & Microbiology (PLPM), certain faculty and staff members have appointments with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. These members are tasked with the AgriLife Extension mission to improve lives with innovative, science-based solutions and education to Texas and beyond. These specialists play a pivotal role in providing plant health & plant disease diagnostics support and protect Texas plant and natural resources. These specialized plant health support are extended to our clientele who includes other AgriLife faculty, county extension agents, federal plant health partners, producers and growers, and more. Additionally, Extension PLPM specialists conduct applied research activities to find solutions to clientele needs and to promote adoption of these solutions.
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Texas Plant Clinics
In 1957, Dr. Harlan Smith – the Texas A&M Extension plant pathologist started a plant disease diagnostic service to provide support to growers/farmers. In 1982, this service was formalized and the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab was established with Dr. Larry Barnes as its first director. Today, ExtPLPM has 3 functional services labs located throughout the state of Texas. The main hub lab is the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. The Texas High Plain Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab is located at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Amarillo, TX. The Texas Plant Virus Diagnostic Lab is located at the Texas A&M Research & Extension Center in Weslaco,TX.
For assistance with plant health issues, please first contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office.
TX Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab at Texas A&M College Station (TPDDL-CS)
Located in College Station, the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (TPDDL-CS) is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service lab managed by the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University. This laboratory provides plant disease diagnostic service to AgriLife Extension personnel, homeowners, farmers, greenhouse and nursery producers, landscape contractors, interiorscapers, arborists, consultants, and any other group or individual needing accurate identification of plant disease problems. The TPDDL strives to provide the most accurate and rapid plant disease diagnosis together with recommendations for effective plant disease management.
TX High Plains Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in Amarillo (THPPDDL)
The Texas High Plains Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory is located at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Amarillo. The THPPDDL specialized in disease diagnostics of small grains and row crops (including hemp).
TX Plant Virus Diagnostic Lab in Weslaco (TPVDL)
TPVDL operates as a closed laboratory, primarily engaged in contract work facilitated through referrals from or through the Texas Department of Agriculture (TX Dept of Ag) and/or the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). This lab provide support for the identification of emerging and exotic viruses to protect our agriculture and natural resources (biosecurity).
Extension Internship Opportunities for Students
Summer Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates at the Interface of Plant, Microbial and Bioenvironmental Sciences
2023 IPMB REEU will be structured so that students can transition from directed to independent research and extension activities. The intellectual focus for our IPMB REEU program is on the interface between plants (key crops), microbes (fungi, bacteria, and viruses), and the environment (soil, water, and pollutants). Our REEU will be composed of two major phases: (a) a 10-week summer experience at TAMU and (b) the long-term tracking of students upon return to their home universities and during the pursuit of their graduate or professional careers.
The Student Careers in Agricultural Research, Learning and Extension Training (SCARLET) program is a federally funded internship opportunity for undergraduate students (sophomore, junior, and senior). The program includes training with a mentor in a 1:1 ratio. You will be able to expand your skills while learning side by side each mentor’s team. SCARLET also offers a series of workshops and seminars to help you improve your resume and to help you expand your career options. The SCARLET team of mentors will select 10 participants for 2022.
Contact an Extension Specialist
Learn About Plant Pathology and Microbiology Research
The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology balances the need of a land-grant institution to solve immediate agricultural problems and investigate basic biologic principles. The department encompasses projects that attack applied problems like plant disease control with both classical and modern approaches.