Few proteomic studies have focused on the plant- Phytophthora interactions, our study provides important information regarding the use of proteomic methods for investigation of the basic mechanisms of plant-Phytophthora interactions. Phytophthora sojae is a fast-spreading and devastating pathogen that is responsible for root and stem rot in soybean crops worldwide. To better understand the response of soybean seedlings to the stress of infection by virulent and avirulent pathogens at the proteomic level, proteins extracted from the hypocotyls of soybean reference cultivar Williams 82 infected by P. sojae P6497 (race 2) and P7076 (race 19), respectively, were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. 95 protein spots were differently expressed, with 83 being successfully identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and subjected to further analysis. Based on the majority of the 83 defense-responsive proteins, and defense-related pathway genes supplemented by a quantitative reverse transcription PCR assay, a defense-related network for soybean infected by virulent and avirulent pathogens was proposed. We found reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst, the expression levels of salicylic acid (SA) signal pathway and biosynthesis of isoflavones were significantly up-regulated in the resistant soybean. Our results imply that following the P. sojae infection, ROS and SA signal pathway in soybean play the major roles in defense against P. sojae. This research will facilitate further investigation of the molecular regulatory mechanism of the defense response in soybean following infection by P. sojae.