Plant Diagnostic Services


Biosecurity Tasmania’s Plant Diagnostic Services (PDS) provides authoritative identification and advisory services for plant pests and diseases.

PDS supports Tasmania’s agricultural and horticultural industries and protects our unique environment by providing services that help:

  • reduce biosecurity risk

  • improve productivity

  • support sustainability

  • maintain our comparative pest free status

  • facilitate export opportunities

Services We Provide​​

Our services have been operating for over 100 years. Our specialist entomologists, plant pathologists and virologists are recognised experts in the identification of plant pests and diseases.


We use traditional morphological techniques, molecular diagnostics, ELISA and electron microscopy utilising modern technologies to identify the following:

  • insects, mites and other invertebrates

  • bacteria and phytoplasmas

  • fungi, fungal-like organisms and nematodes

  • viruses and viroids

AGDIA Distributorship​

Biosecurity Tasmania is the sole Australian Distributor for Agdia Inc. a world leader in the provision of plant diagnostic testing kits for both laboratory and field use.

Other Activities​​

  • Advice, training and support for biosecurity and emergency responses

  • Compilation of official pest records to facilitate trade

  • Monitoring and surveillance for pests and diseases

  • Managing the Tasmanian Agricultural Invertebrate Collection

  • Running light traps for insect trapping

  • Liaising with the Tasmanian Institute for Agriculture (TIA)

  • Diagnostics for the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program

Our Committment to Quality Assurance​​

  • Our State-wide laboratories operate under a quality management system.

  • Our TASAG ELISA and Pathogen Testing Service is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

  • We undertake annual proficiency testing as part of the National Plant Health Proficiency Testing Program run by ANQAP.

  • PDS laboratories are approved for working with pests of biosecurity significance and include a Biosecurity Containment (BC2) laboratory.

  • Our staff are members of the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network (NPBDN) and represent Tasmania on the national Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics (SPHD).

Diagnostic Se​​rvice Fees

Services offered by the Plant Diagnostic Services attract a fee. However, there is no fee to identify a plant pest or disease that is suspected of being an invasive or biosecurity pest.

Fee for testing service price schedule for download:

  Plant Diagnostic Services - Price Schedule   (209Kb)​

Download and complete a Sample Submission Form:

  Plant Diagnostic Services - Sample Submission Form   (454Kb)

Locations and Contacts​​

Please contact us to discuss to discuss your testing requirements.

General enquiries: E-mail:
Ph. (Biosecurity Tasmania): 6165 3777

Hobart - New Town Laboratories

Delivery address: 13 St Johns Avenue, New Town, TAS 7008

Postal Address: PO Box 44 Hobart, TAS 7000


Wade Chatterton ph. 6165 3244
Melissa Houghton ph. 6165 3242

Molecular Diagnostics

Alison Dann ph. 6165 3245

Plant Pathology

Ziqing Yuan ph. 6165 3238

Plant Virology

Peter Cross ph. 6165 3252

Agdia Distributor

Susan Archer ph. 6165 3243

Launceston - Mt Pleasant Laboratories

Delivery address: 165 Westbury Road, Prospect, TAS 7250
Postal Address: PO Box 46 Kings Meadows, TAS 7249


Jamie Davies ph. 6777 2262
Guy Westmore ph. 6777 2150

Devonport - Stony Rise Government Offices 

Delivery address: Rundle Road, Stony Rise, TAS 7310
Postal Address: PO Box 303 Devonport, TAS 7310

If you see anything unusual in your plants please submit a sample to our laboratories located throughout the state. There is no fee for service for suspect exotics.


Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881

For further information:

Phone: 03 6165 3777