The plant pathologist is responsible for plant disease services and coordinates state-wide regulatory activities pertaining to plant diseases. She also provides resources and technical support to the Plant Protection Specialists in conducting inspections for export certification, nursery certification, vegetable plant certification, tobacco plant certification and the federal post-entry quarantine program. There are three plant diseases that are specifically regulated by North Carolina: Potato Virus Y, White Pine Blister Rust, and thousand cankers disease of walnut trees. However, regulatory action can be taken against any disease of limited distibution or new to the state. The plant pathologist is the contact person for interactions with regulatory agencies in other states and federal offices in regard to plant disease issues. Permits to move plant pathogenic organisms into the state, to import plant material from foreign countries, or to import tobacco plants from other states are handled through her office.
If you are having a plant problem, there are resources available to assist you in diagnosis and control. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Division will accept soil, plant material, and solution for nutrient analyses, and soil for nematode analysis. The North Carolina State University Plant Disease and Insect Clinic accepts submissions of plants for diagnosis of problems related to diseases and insects, and of insects for identification.
NCSU plant disease information notes (linked from the Clinic site) provide diagnostic and control recommendations for many plant pathogens.
If you would like more information on diseases of regulatory concern, there are a few other web sites that might be of interest. The Plant Protection Section's New Pest Alert page has information about diseases of more immediate concern to NC. The homepage of USDA-APHIS-PPQ ( Plant Protection and Quarantine ) -- the federal counterpart of the NCDA&CS-Plant Protection Section -- contains information on its plant health activities and programs listed by pest.
If you want to find out more about plant pathology the American Phytopathological Society maintains information on membership, resources, published reference works on plant diseases by crop category, and other topics.