F1K9 agricultural disease Detection Dog (in-training) Kos (a Vizsla dog) who can quickly and accurately inspect rows of citrus plants; part of their work with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists from Fort Pierce, FL, to train dogs to detect huanglongbing (HLB; a.k.a. citrus greening) in citrus, squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV; cause of viral watermelon vine decline) in squash, and tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) in pepper plants at this training session in New Smyrna Beach, FL, on Feb. 25, 2021.
F1K9, a licensed canine detection service company.
Dogs can be trained to detect specific bacterial or viral pathogens in any part of a plant with greater than 99% accuracy, significantly faster than laboratory tests, and before visible symptoms are obvious. Conventional analysis typically uses only one leaf from a plant. At the early stages of infection, before the disease spreads throughout the plant, a healthy leaf may be taken from an infected plant resulting in a negative laboratory test. In contrast, dogs sample the entire plant while walking by and sniffing it. For more information, please go to ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2020/trained-dogs-are-the-most-efficient-way-to-hunt-citrus-industrys-biggest-threat/. USDA Media by Lance Cheung. Original public domain image from Flickr