Genome-wide identification of soybean microRNA responsive to soybean cyst nematodes infection by deep sequencing

BMC Genomics. 2017 Aug 2;18(1):572. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3963-4.


Background: The soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines, is one of the most devastating diseases limiting soybean production worldwide. It is known that small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), play important roles in regulating plant growth and development, defense against pathogens, and responses to environmental changes.

Results: In order to understand the role of soybean miRNAs during SCN infection, we analyzed 24 small RNA libraries including three biological replicates from two soybean cultivars (SCN susceptible KS4607, and SCN HG Type 7 resistant KS4313N) that were grown under SCN-infested and -noninfested soil at two different time points (SCN feeding establishment and egg production). In total, 537 known and 70 putative novel miRNAs in soybean were identified from a total of 0.3 billion reads (average about 13.5 million reads for each sample) with the programs of Bowtie and miRDeep2 mapper. Differential expression analyses were carried out using edgeR to identify miRNAs involved in the soybean-SCN interaction. Comparative analysis of miRNA profiling indicated a total of 60 miRNAs belonging to 25 families that might be specifically related to cultivar responses to SCN. Quantitative RT-PCR validated similar miRNA interaction patterns as sequencing results.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that miRNAs are likely to play key roles in soybean response to SCN. The present work could provide a framework for miRNA functional identification and the development of novel approaches for improving soybean SCN resistance in future studies.

Keywords: RNA-seq; Soybean; Soybean cyst nematode; microRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genomics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA*
  • Soybeans / genetics*
  • Soybeans / physiology
  • Tylenchoidea / physiology*


  • MicroRNAs