Scab testing: powdery (Spongospora) & common (Streptomyces)

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Scab testing: powdery (<em>Spongospora</em>) & common (<em>Streptomyces</em>)
  • Method Used
    Visual Diagnosis
  • Standard Turnaround Time
    10 working days

Powdery and Common scab both are potato blemish diseases that cause unsightly scab like blemishes on the tubers which in turn result in the tubers being rejected or downgraded.

These diseases share a range of symptoms which are solely applicable to the potato tubers themselves. There are no above ground symptoms.

This can cause significant financial implications for growers. Effective and timely identification of these diseases is critical as a result.

Common scab caused by the bacteria Streptomyces scabiei is prevalent across a range of potato varieties and can prove extremely costly to growers.

Powdery scab is a fungal blemish disease caused by Spongospora subterranea which can also vector the Potato mop top virus, a sauce of spraing.

This test uses a microscopic visual examination to give an indication of the most likely cause of the scabs. Molecular testing can then be offered as a confirmatory method.

If there are multiple scabs, the test will be performed on the predominant symptom unless instructed otherwise.

When sending plant pathogens and invertebrate samples from outside England and Wales for testing please email the Crop health team ( who will issue you with the relevant Letter of Authority to ensure your samples are not delayed upon entry to the UK.

This test is offered in two parts. Visual examination: £110 and visual examination with molecular testing for £192.

Submitting your Sample

When submitting your sample please follow the guidelines outlined within our sample shipping information.

The relevant signed sample submission form must be included (in a separate bag if sample is damp); failure to send a sample submission form may result in a delay of your sample being tested and make diagnosis more difficult. To help us process your samples in the most efficient way please fill in as much information as possible on the relevant form below. Please ensure you provide your email address, 'Your Ref', 'Purchase order no' and 'Name and Address for Invoice' in the sections where applicable.

Download the sample submission form here



Minimum Sample

12 Tubers

Turnaround Time

5 working days



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