Genetics of Soybean-Heterodera glycines Interactions


  • Ke Dong
  • Kenneth R. Barker
  • Charles H. Opperman


The soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, is one of the most economically important pathogens of soybean. Effective management of the nematode is often dependent on the planting of resistant soybean cultivars. During the past 40 years, more than 60 soybean genotypes and plant introductions (PI) have been reported as resistant to H glycines. About 130 modern soybean cultivars registered in the United States are resistant to certain races of H. glycines. Several resistance genes have been identified and genetically mapped; however, resistance levels in many soybean cultivars are not durable. Some older cultivars are no longer resistant to certain H. glycines populations in many production areas, especially if a soybean monoculture has been practiced. Past soybean registration reports show that all resistant cultivars developed in public institutions from the mid-1960s to the present have been derived from five PIs. This narrow genetic background is fragile. To further complicate the issue, soybean-H. glycines genetic interactions are complex and poorly understood. Studies to identify soybean resistance genes sometimes have overlapped, and the same genes may have been reported several times and designated by different names. Nevertheless, many potential resistance genes in existing germplasm resources have not yet been characterized. Clearly, it is necessary to identify new resistance genes, develop more precise selection methods, and integrate these resistance genes into new cultivars. Rational deployment of resistant cultivars is critical to future sustained soybean production. Key words: genetics, Glycine max, Heterodera glycines, interaction, parasitism, resistance, review, soybean, soybean cyst nematode.