Seasonal Variation and Crop Sequences Shape the Structure of Bacterial Communities in Cysts of Soybean Cyst Nematode

Weiming Hu, Noah Bernard Strom, Deepak Haarith, Senyu Chen, Kathryn E. Bushley

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11 Scopus citations


Soybean cyst nematode (SCN), Heterodera glycines Ichinohe, is the number 1 pathogen of the important economic crop soybean. Bacteria represent potential biocontrol agents of the SCN, but few studies have characterized the dynamics of bacterial communities associated with cysts under different crop rotation sequences. The bacterial communities in SCN cysts in a long-term soybean–corn crop rotation experiment were investigated over 2 years. The crop sequences included long-term soybean monoculture (Ss), years 1–5 of soybean following 5 years corn (S1–S5), years 1 and 2 of corn following 5 years soybean (C1 and C2), and soybean–corn annual rotation (Sa and Ca). The bacterial 16S rRNA V4 region was amplified from DNA isolated from SCN cysts collected in spring at planting, midseason (2 months later), and fall at harvest and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform. The SCN cyst microbiome was dominated by Proteobacteria followed by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Verrucomicrobia. The bacterial community composition was influenced by both crop sequence and season. Although differences by crop sequence were not significant in the spring of each year, bacterial communities in cysts from annual rotation (Sa and Ca) or crop sequences of early years of monoculture following a 5-year rotation of the alternate crop (S1 and C1) became rapidly differentiated by crop over a single growing season. In the fall, genera of cyst bacteria associated with soybean crop sequences included Rhizobacter, Leptothrix, Cytophaga, Chitinophaga, Niastella, Streptomyces, and Halangium. The discovery of diverse bacterial taxa in SCN cysts and their dynamics across crop rotation sequences provides invaluable information for future development of biological control of the SCN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2671
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - Nov 21 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by USDA-NIFA, grant number NIFA 2015-67013-23419.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2019 Hu, Strom, Haarith, Chen and Bushley.


  • Heterodera glycines
  • bacterial community
  • biological control
  • crop rotation
  • metabarcoding
  • soybean cyst nematode


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