The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (MDL) is part of the Disease Investigations group at the Beckman Center for Conservation Research. It was established in the year 1999 to support health management of animals in our care and also functions as a research lab. The MDL specializes in identifying and characterizing microorganisms (including pathogens) on a molecular level to help remove disease as a roadblock to conservation.
We currently offer the following PCR tests for external submissions:

See Amphibian Disease Laboratory.

Desert tortoises
The MDL provides qPCR testing for two desert tortoise mycoplasma species implicated in causing upper respiratory tract disease (M. agassizii and M. testudineum) as well as qPCR testing for testudinid herpesvirus 2 (TeHV2) using published assays (braun et al 2014). Samples are run in three technical replicates and assay setup includes various controls for quality control. 


Available Tests

  1. Mycoplasma agassizii qPCR - $30
  2. Mycoplasma testudineum qPCR - $30
  3. Multiplex qPCR for M. agassizii and M. testudineum - $35
  4. Testudinid herpesvirus 2 (TeHV2) qPCR - $30


We can receive samples Mondays through Fridays.
Please ship samples to:

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Beckman Center for Conservation Research
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92029

Submission form – Desert tortoise


Contact Us
Telephone: 760-291-5470