Resistance Gene Pyramiding and Rotation to Combat Widespread Soybean Cyst Nematode Virulence

Clinton Meinhardt, Amanda Howland, Mark Ellersieck, Andrew Scaboo, Brian Diers, Melissa Mitchum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is an important pathogen of soybean causing more than $1 billion in yield losses annually in the United States. Planting SCN resistant soybean cultivars is the primary management strategy. Resistance genes derived from the plant introductions (PI) 88788 (rhg1-b) and PI 548402 (Peking; rhg1-a and Rhg4) are the main types of resistance available in commercial cultivars. The PI 88788 rhg1-b resistance allele is found in the majority of SCN resistant cultivars in the north central US. The widespread use of PI 88788 rhg1-b has led to limited options for farmers to rotate resistance sources to manage SCN. Consequently, an over reliance on a single type of resistance has resulted in the selection of SCN populations that have adapted to reproduce on these resistant cultivars. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of rotating soybean lines with different combinations of resistance genes to determine the best strategy for combating the widespread increase in virulent SCN and limit future nematode adaptation to resistant cultivars. Eight SCN populations were developed by either continuous selection of a virulent SCN field population (HG type on a single resistance source or in rotation with soybean pyramiding different resistance gene alleles derived from PI 88788 (rhg1-b), PI 437654 (rhg1-a and Rhg4), PI 468916 (cqSCN-006 and cqSCN-007) and PI 567516C (Chr10). SCN population densities were determined for eight generations. HG type tests were conducted after the eighth generation to evaluate population shifts. The continued use of rhg1-b or 006/007 had limited effectiveness for reducing SCN type population density, whereas rotation to the use of rhg1-a/Rhg4 resistance significantly reduced SCN population density, but selected for broader SCN virulence (HG type A rotation of rhg1-a/Rhg4 with a pyramid of rhg1-b/006/007/Chr10 was the most effective combination at both reducing population density and minimizing selection pressure. Our results provide guidance for implementation of a strategic SCN resistance rotation plan to manage the widespread virulence on PI 88788 and sustain the future durability of SCN resistance genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPlant disease
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jan 15 2021

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