The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is very damaging in its own right. But it also affects and is affected by other soybean pathogens and pests. Work in the Tylka research laboratory has studied the effects of SCN on infection of soybeans by the soil-borne fungi Phialophora gregata (causal agent of brown stem rot) and Fusarium virguliforme (causal agent of sudden death syndrome). This work has been done in collaboration with personnel in the laboratories of Dr. Charlotte Bronson (retired) and Dr. Leonor Leandro at Iowa State University and has focused on determining specifically how infection of soybeans by SCN affects the infection and colonization of the plant by the fungal pathogens.
Also, in the late 2000s, research conducted in collaboration with Dr. Matt O'Neal's laboratory at Iowa State University revealed an interaction between the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) and SCN. Greenhouse and field research has been conducted to determine the reciprocal effects of SCN and the soybean aphid and the effects of the interaction on soybean growth and yield.
All of this interaction research has been funded by the soybean checkoff through grants from the Iowa Soybean Association and the North Central Soybean Research Program.