The North Central Soybean Research Program, a collaboration of 12 state soybean associations, invests soybean check-off funds to improve yields and profitability via university research and extension. Visit Site

View the current 2019 NCSRP-funded research projects and progress reports.


NCSRP Research Team Unravels Genome of the Soybean Cyst Nematode, Revealing Genes Involved in Parasitism
Mon - April 1, 2019
SCN life cycle.  Image credit: Iowa State University
SCN life cycle. Image credit: Iowa State University
Thomas Baum (Project Leader, Iowa State University), Andrew Severin, Matthew Hudson, and Brian Diers (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Melissa Mitchum, Henry Nguyen, and Andrew Scaboo (University of Missouri)
With checkoff funding provided by soybean farmers through the North Central Soybean Research Program, a team of nematologists and molecular biologists sequenced the genome of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), one of the most important pests of soybean.

The team identified a whole suite of previously undiscovered "effectors" — the nematode-secreted proteins that allow SCN to infect soybean roots and establish feeding cells. With the newly-sequenced genome, researchers can now identify and monitor the nematode genes involved when SCN adapts to resistant cultivars, and gain insight into how the nematodes manage to override the soybean’s defenses. The work is a major milestone in the development of durable host resistance.

Scientists can finally start answering questions about how nematodes adapt to soybean varieties. Is it through the selection of virulent nematodes already present? Or is the nematode actually able to diversify their set of "effector" proteins to quickly infect resistant soybean varieties?

Five H. glycines populations of differing virulence (Hg types) were used in the sequencing work, providing genetic markers that can be used to monitor nematode population shifts in the field. Once the genetic basis for virulence has been explored, it is conceivable that molecular tests can be developed to make Hg type identification fast and reliable.

The work was recently published in the journal BMC Genetics as The genome of the soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) reveals complex patterns of duplications involved in the evolution of parasitism genes.
NCSRP Soybean Cyst Nematode Management Guide - a reference for soybean aphid management in the North Central region, 5th edition.

Visit the new SCN Coalition website for the latest recommendations on SCN testing and management.
Soybean resistance to the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines: an update. Phytopathology, 2016

Understanding Soybean Cyst Nematode HG Types and Races  Plant Health Perspective, 2017

ISU scientists overcome repetitive DNA to sequence the genome of devastating soybean pest - Iowa State University press release, 2019