Discolored soybean seed
Yields are usually not reduced but a high percent of seed stain may be evident at harvest.
Frogeye leaf spot: Cercospora sojina causes frogeye leaf spot on soybean. Symptoms occur primarily on leaves although the causal fungus may also infect stems, pods and seeds. Lesions are small, circular to somewhat angular spots that develop on the upper leaf surfaces. Initially the spots are dark and water soaked in appearance. As the lesions age they develop a dark reddish-brown border.
The center of the lesion becomes light brown to light gray in color. Lesions may merge to kill larger areas of the leaf. Heavily spotted leaves may wither and drop prematurely. Stem lesions usually develop later in the season. Young stem lesions are deep red with a narrow, dark brown to black margin. As the stem lesions age, the centers become brown to smoky gray in color. Lesions on pods are circular to elongate, slightly sunken and reddish brown. The fungus can grow through the pod wall to infect maturing seed. Infected seeds may show discoloration of the seed coat that ranges from small specks to large blotches of light gray to dark gray or brown.
Virus diseases: There are several virus diseases, which may occur on soybean in Missouri including bean pod mottle, soybean mosaic and tobacco ringspot or budblight. Of these, soybean mosaic virus and bean pod mottle virus are most likely to cause symptoms on the seed. Seed infected with soybean mosaic or bean pod mottle virus may have a symptom called bleeding hilum. This is a discoloration, usually black or dark in color that bleeds from the hilum down the sides of the seed. The affected area may be quite small and near the hilum or may be quite extensive and cover most of the seed. It is important to keep in mind that bleeding hilum is also a genetic characteristic of certain soybean varieties. The intensity of the discoloration can be influenced by environmental conditions during the growing season.
Colletotrichum anthracnose and tipblight: Colletotrichum truncatum and several other Colletotrichum species cause anthracnose of soybean. Typically, anthracnose is a late season stem and pod disease of soybean. Symptoms occur on stems, pods and petioles as irregularly shaped, light to dark brown spots, streaks or lesions.
Eventually black fungal structures may be evident in these lesions. Anthracnose may also cause a tipblight. The tipblight phase of anthracnose causes a yellowing or browning of the uppermost leaves and pods. The blighted tips may dry up and die prematurely. This fungus may also infect seed. Seed may be smaller than normal and severely infected seed may be a moldy, dark brown in color and shriveled. Anthracnose is favored by warm, wet weather, and the tipblight phase of anthracnose is most likely to occur after a rainy period.