corn disease Plant disease is defined as any physiological abnormality or significant disruption in the “normal” health of a plant. Malfunctioning of plant cells and tissues usually results from the continuous irritation by a pathogenic agent or environmental factor and leads to the development of symptom. Thus, disease can be caused by living (biotic) agents, including fungi, bacteria, nematode, phytoplasma, virus and viroids or by environmental (abiotic) factors such as nutrient deficiency, drought, lack of oxygen, excessive temperature, ultraviolet radiation, or pollution.

In the presence of a causal agent on susceptible host under favorable environmental condition, plant disease can cause significant economic losses to yield, quality and aesthetic values in a production system. That’s why plant diseases need to be diagnosed so that grower can take corrective measures (disease management or control tactics) to minimize losses on existing plants or future planting.

WVU Extension provides disease identification service. You can download the WVU Plant Diagnostic Clinic Form (PDF) to submit a disease related sample for identification.

You can also get information and assistance from WVU Extension’s online guides and fact sheets.

  • Disease Identification Guide (PDF) – Updated in 2009, this guide covers plant diseases common to West Virginia agricultural and ornamental crops.

WVU Extension Faculty Assistance

Questions regarding plant disease issues should be directed to Dr. Mahfuz Rahman at the WVU Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

Tree Fruit Diseases

WVU Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center maintains excellent resources on identification, management and prevention of diseases affecting fruit trees.

WVU Extension Faculty Assistance

Questions regarding tree fruit diseases can be directed to Alan Biggs, at the WVU Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center.