WARF: P100292US03

Increasing Resistance to Soybean Cyst Nematode with Polypeptides


Andrew Bent, Brian Diers, Sara Melito, David Cook, Teresa Hughes, Xiaoli Guo, Tong Geon Lee, Jianping Wang, Matthew Hudson, Adam Bayless

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing genetic methods for increasing the resistance of soybeans and other crops to destructive roundworms.
OVERVIEWSoybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most economically damaging pathogen for Unites States soybean production in most years. Annual losses top $700 million. Other countries like Brazil and China also are seriously impacted.

Once a field is infested with SCN, it is almost impossible to eliminate. Primary means of control are crop rotation and the planting of SCN-resistant soybean varieties. However, no varieties are completely resistant.

The genetic basis for effective SCN resistance that already is in widespread commercial use previously had been traced to a chromosome location, or locus, known as Rhg1. Pinpointing the specific genes and gene products at Rhg1 that combat these devastating nematodes was critically important to allow improvement of cyst nematode resistance.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers and others have developed methods to increase the expression of polypeptides that help root cells resist SCN. They also have developed ways to detect naturally occurring genetic configurations that may confer improved SCN resistance.

The polypeptides are Glyma18g02580, Glyma18g02590 and Glyma18g2610. Their expression in plants, including soybean, potato, sugar beet and corn, can be increased using strong or tissue-specific promoters or by introducing extra copies of the polynucleotides into cells.
  • Screening plants for resistance to nematodes
  • Identifying or generating new non-GMO forms of Rhg1 that confer better resistance
  • Developing transgenic soybeans and other crops with improved cyst nematode resistance
  • May boost resistance to SCN, one of the most devastating crop pathogens
  • May be applicable to cyst nematode diseases of other plant species
For More Information About the Inventors
  • Cook et al. 2012. Copy Number Variation of Multiple Genes at Rhg1 Mediates Nematode Resistance in Soybean. Science 338, 1206-1209.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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