Black point of wheat

Black point does not typically cause yield loss, but reduces grain quality. It is caused by several pathogens including Alternaria spp., Cochliobolus sativus, Cladosporium spp., and others. As the name implies, kernels that develop black point will have a black, smudge-like discoloration. This typically occurs at the proximal or embryo end of the kernel. Symptoms can be observed after harvest on seed. Black point does not produce spore masses like bunt diseases and will grow on living tissue, unlike black head mold.

Warm, wet weather during filling and ripening (FGS 10.5) typically favors infection, but black point can also be prevalent if weather is hot and dry. Delays in wheat maturity also favor disease.

Reducing irrigation after flowering can lower incidence and severity. Foliar fungicides at head emergence or flowering may reduce kernel infection whereas fungicide seed treatments may improve germination and reduce seedling infection, but efficacy is inconsistent.