We present results from deep sequencing of small RNA populations from several genotypes of soybean and demonstrate that the CHS siRNAs accumulated only in the seed coats of the yellow varieties having either the dominant I or i-i alleles and not in the pigmented seed coats with homozygous recessive i genotypes. However, the diagnostic CHS siRNAs did not accumulate in the cotyledons of genotypes with the dominant I or i-i alleles thus demonstrating the novelty of an endogenous inverted repeat region of CHS genes driving RNA silencing in trans of non-linked CHS family members in a tissue-specific manner. The phenomenon results in inhibition of a metabolic pathway by siRNAs in one tissue allowing expression of the flavonoid pathway and synthesis of secondary metabolites in other organs as the chalcone synthase small RNAs are found in the seed coats of yellow seeded soybean varieties but not in the cotyledons of the same genotype. Overall design: In order to compare the population of chalcone synthase related small RNAs, we sequenced 3 to 6 million small RNAs using the Illumina Genome Analyzer from the following four soybean cultivars and tissues with specific genotypes at the I locus: Richland immature seed coats (homozygous for the dominant I allele that specifies yellow seed coat); Williams immature seed coats (homozygous for the dominant i-i allele that specifies yellow seed coat with pigmented hilum) Williams (i-i/i-i yellow) immature cotyledons (homozygous for the dominant i-i allele that specifies yellow seed coat with pigmented hilum); Williams 55 immature seed coats (a Williams isogenic line homozygous for the recessive i allele that specifics pigmented seed coats. All seed coats and cotyledons were dissected from green stage immature seeds within the fresh weight range of 50-75 mg.