A chromosomal assembly of the soybean cyst nematode genome

Rick E. Masonbrink, Tom R. Maier, Matthew Hudson, Andrew Severin, Thomas Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines) is a sedentary plant parasite that exceeds billion USD annually in yield losses. This problem is exacerbated by H. glycines populations overcoming the limited sources of natural resistance in soybean and by the lack of effective and safe alternative treatments. Although there are genetic determinants that render soybeans resistant to nematode genotypes, resistant soybeans are increasingly ineffective because their multiyear usage has selected for virulent H. glycines populations. Successful H. glycines infection relies on the comprehensive re-engineering of soybean root cells into a syncytium, as well as the long-term suppression of host defences to ensure syncytial viability. At the forefront of these complex molecular interactions are effectors, the proteins secreted by H. glycines into host root tissues. The mechanisms that control genomic effector acquisition, diversification, and selection are important insights needed for the development of essential novel control strategies. As a foundation to obtain this understanding, we created a nine-scaffold, 158 Mb pseudomolecule assembly of the H. glycines genome using PacBio, Chicago, and Hi-C sequencing. A Mikado consensus gene prediction produced an annotation of 22,465 genes using short- and long-read expression data. To evaluate assembly and annotation quality, we cross-examined synteny among H. glycines assemblies, and compared BUSCO across related species. To describe the predicted proteins involved in H. glycines’ secretory pathway, we contrasted expression between preparasitic and parasitic stages with functional gene information. Here, we present the results from our assembly and annotation of the H. glycines genome and contribute this resource to the scientific community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2407-2422
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular ecology resources
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • effectors
  • genome
  • nematode
  • parasite
  • plant
  • soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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