Diagnostic Laboratories

The Plant Protection Diagnostic Laboratories, located at the Plant Biotechnology Centre in Lija, are involved in the diagnosis of different plant pests and diseases. The Diagnostic Laboratories perform testing of plant pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, insects and nematodes. Diagnostic tests are carried out on samples collected by the Surveillance and Enforcement Unit within the same Directorate.  Most of the diagnostic tests are carried out on samples submitted in connection with surveys for quarantine and emerging pests/diseases and surveys for protected zone status for certain pests.  The surveys for quarantine organisms are obligatory by the various European Decisions, Directives and national legislation. 

Samples may also be submitted to the laboratories when inspections are carried out following reports by the general public of suspected occurrence of certain diseases.  Furthermore, the Diagnostic Laboratories perform tests on samples which may be collected by the Surveillance and Enforcement Unit during inspections of imported consignments and during surveillance of intra-trade EU commodities and local production of plants and plant products. 

The diagnostic laboratories are also involved in projects such as certification testing activities of local varieties of plants, including fruit trees.  They also collaborate with EU reference laboratories in plant diagnostic research and information.