AMES, Iowa – It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle for which all the pieces are identical, but with only one solution.
Iowa State University researchers overcame the quirks of the soybean cyst nematode’s DNA to sequence its genome, paving the way for better management practices to combat the No. 1 pest that threatens Iowa soybeans. The research was published recently in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Genomics.
Soybean cyst nematodes are parasitic roundworms that infect the roots of soybeans and can devastate yields in infected fields. Nematode populations build up in fields and stay for years, meaning infested acres become a perennial management concern for farmers.