Soybean cyst nematode (SCN): Overcoming the tiny beast below the surface.


Nour Nissan, Elroy Cober, Ashkan Golshani, Bahram Samanfar: Soybean cyst nematode (SCN): Overcoming the tiny beast below the surface. Canadian Society of Plant Biology (CSPB) virtual conference, 2020, Canada [oral].

Plain language summary



Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is the 4th most produced and exported crop in Canada making up over $2 billion worth of exports in 2019 alone. It is a staple in human food and animal feed and is an important partner in sustainable agricultural management practices.Soybean cyst nematode,Heterodera glycines Ichinohe, (SCN) is a plant parasitic nematode which is becoming an overwhelming pest globally causing major yield loss (5-80%) while also driving susceptibility to other diseases. Once SCN is present in the soil, eradication becomes almost impossible. Some solutions are available to overcome this beast such as: resistant lines, crop rotation and field management. To date, only two resistant genes have been widely used,rhg1and Rhg4. Currently, resistance break-down is starting to occur and more aggressive SCN populations are emerging in the USA. SCN is also spreading in areas of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. Hence, the identification of novel resistant genes against SCN in soybean are necessary.We have developed a pipeline utilizing a combined approach in functional genomics and systems biology (RNA-sequencing, GWAS studies, Gene ontology analysis, etc.) along with a bioinformatics tool called PIPE (Protein-protein Interaction Prediction Engine) to identify potential candidate genes involved in host-pathogen interaction between soybean and SCN. Through the use of this pipeline, so far, four potential candidates displayed interesting results and have been shortlisted forfurther wet lab and complementary analysis. Further investigation of potential candidate genes could lead to allele-specific markers to assist breeding programs to generate SCN resistant soybean.

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