1,949 research outputs found

    Long-Branch Attraction Bias and Inconsistency in Bayesian Phylogenetics

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    Bayesian inference (BI) of phylogenetic relationships uses the same probabilistic models of evolution as its precursor maximum likelihood (ML), so BI has generally been assumed to share ML's desirable statistical properties, such as largely unbiased inference of topology given an accurate model and increasingly reliable inferences as the amount of data increases. Here we show that BI, unlike ML, is biased in favor of topologies that group long branches together, even when the true model and prior distributions of evolutionary parameters over a group of phylogenies are known. Using experimental simulation studies and numerical and mathematical analyses, we show that this bias becomes more severe as more data are analyzed, causing BI to infer an incorrect tree as the maximum a posteriori phylogeny with asymptotically high support as sequence length approaches infinity. BI's long branch attraction bias is relatively weak when the true model is simple but becomes pronounced when sequence sites evolve heterogeneously, even when this complexity is incorporated in the model. This bias—which is apparent under both controlled simulation conditions and in analyses of empirical sequence data—also makes BI less efficient and less robust to the use of an incorrect evolutionary model than ML. Surprisingly, BI's bias is caused by one of the method's stated advantages—that it incorporates uncertainty about branch lengths by integrating over a distribution of possible values instead of estimating them from the data, as ML does. Our findings suggest that trees inferred using BI should be interpreted with caution and that ML may be a more reliable framework for modern phylogenetic analysis

    Structural biology and phylogenetic estimation

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    Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/62633/1/388527a0.pd

    Phylogeny of Diving Beetles Reveals a Coevolutionary Arms Race between the Sexes

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    BACKGROUND: Darwin illustrated his sexual selection theory with male and female morphology of diving beetles, but maintained a cooperative view of their interaction. Present theory suggests that instead sexual conflict should be a widespread evolutionary force driving both intersexual coevolutionary arms races and speciation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We combined Bayesian phylogenetics, complete taxon sampling and a multi-gene approach to test the arms race scenario on a robust diving beetle phylogeny. As predicted, suction cups in males and modified dorsal surfaces in females showed a pronounced coevolutionary pattern. The female dorsal modifications impair the attachment ability of male suction cups, but each antagonistic novelty in females corresponds to counter-differentiation of suction cups in males. CONCLUSIONS: A recently diverged sibling species pair in Japan is possibly one consequence of this arms race and we suggest that future studies on hypoxia might reveal the key to the extraordinary selection for female counter-adaptations in diving beetles

    An efficient and extensible approach for compressing phylogenetic trees

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    Biologists require new algorithms to efficiently compress and store their large collections of phylogenetic trees. TreeZip is a novel method for compressing phylogenetic trees. Recently, we extended our TreeZip algorithm to support branch lengths and show how it can be used to extract sets of trees of interest quickly. The key advantage of TreeZip over standard compression methods like 7zip is its ability to interpret and compress tree collections semantically, making it immune to branch rotations and allowing key operations (such calculating a consensus tree) to be performed quickly and without a loss of space savings. On unweighted phylogenetic trees, TreeZip is able to compress Newick files in excess of 98%. On weighted phylogenetic trees, TreeZip is able to compress a Newick file by at least 73%. TreeZip can be combined with 7zip with little overhead, allowing space savings in excess of 99 % (unweighted) and 92%(weighted). Unlike TreeZip, 7zip is not immune to branch rotations, and performs worse as the level of variability in the Newick string representation increases. Finally, since the TreeZip compressed text (TRZ) file contains all the semantic information in a collection of trees, we can easily filter and decompress a subset of trees of interest (such as the set of unique trees), or build the resulting consensus tree in a matter of seconds. We also show the ease of which set operations can be performed on TRZ files, at speeds quicker than those performed on Newick or 7zip compressed Newick files, and without loss of space savings. TreeZip is an efficient approach for compressing large collections of phylogenetic trees. The semantic and compact nature of the TRZ file allow it to be operated upon directly and quickly, without a need to decompress the original Newick file. We believe that TreeZip will be vital for compressing and archiving trees in the biological community.

    DNA barcoding reveals the coral “laboratory-rat”, Stylophora pistillata encompasses multiple identities

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    Stylophora pistillata is a widely used coral “lab-rat” species with highly variable morphology and a broad biogeographic range (Red Sea to western central Pacific). Here we show, by analysing Cytochorme Oxidase I sequences, from 241 samples across this range, that this taxon in fact comprises four deeply divergent clades corresponding to the Pacific-Western Australia, Chagos-Madagascar-South Africa, Gulf of Aden-Zanzibar-Madagascar, and Red Sea-Persian/Arabian Gulf-Kenya. On the basis of the fossil record of Stylophora, these four clades diverged from one another 51.5-29.6 Mya, i.e., long before the closure of the Tethyan connection between the tropical Indo-West Pacific and Atlantic in the early Miocene (16–24 Mya) and should be recognised as four distinct species. These findings have implications for comparative ecological and/or physiological studies carried out using Stylophora pistillata as a model species, and highlight the fact that phenotypic plasticity, thought to be common in scleractinian corals, can mask significant genetic variation

    Penicillium menonorum, a new species related to P. pimiteouiense

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    Penicillium menonorum is described as a new monoverticillate, non-vesiculate species that resembles P. restrictum and P. pimiteouiense. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences from four loci, P. menonorum occurs in a clade with P. pimiteouiense, P. vinaceum, P. guttulosum, P. rubidurum, and P. parvum. Genealogical concordance analysis was applied to P. pimiteouiense and P. parvum, substantiating the phenotypically defined species. The species P. rubidurum, P. guttulosum, and P. menonorum were on distinct branches statistically excluded from inclusion in other species and have distinct phenotypes

    Improving phylogeny reconstruction at the strain level using peptidome datasets

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    Typical bacterial strain differentiation methods are often challenged by high genetic similarity between strains. To address this problem, we introduce a novel in silico peptide fingerprinting method based on conventional wet-lab protocols that enables the identification of potential strain-specific peptides. These can be further investigated using in vitro approaches, laying a foundation for the development of biomarker detection and application-specific methods. This novel method aims at reducing large amounts of comparative peptide data to binary matrices while maintaining a high phylogenetic resolution. The underlying case study concerns the Bacillus cereus group, namely the differentiation of Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus strains. Results show that trees based on cytoplasmic and extracellular peptidomes are only marginally in conflict with those based on whole proteomes, as inferred by the established Genome-BLAST Distance Phylogeny (GBDP) method. Hence, these results indicate that the two approaches can most likely be used complementarily even in other organismal groups. The obtained results confirm previous reports about the misclassification of many strains within the B. cereus group. Moreover, our method was able to separate the B. anthracis strains with high resolution, similarly to the GBDP results as benchmarked via Bayesian inference and both Maximum Likelihood and Maximum Parsimony. In addition to the presented phylogenomic applications, whole-peptide fingerprinting might also become a valuable complementary technique to digital DNA-DNA hybridization, notably for bacterial classification at the species and subspecies level in the future.This research was funded by Grant AGL2013-44039-R from the Spanish “Plan Estatal de I+D+I”, and by Grant EM2014/046 from the “Plan Galego de investigación, innovación e crecemento 2011-2015”. BS was recipient of a Ramón y Cajal postdoctoral contractfrom the Spanish Ministry of Economyand Competitiveness. This work was also partially funded by the [14VI05] Contract-Programme from the University of Vigo and the Agrupamento INBIOMED from DXPCTSUG-FEDER unha maneira de facer Europa (2012/273).The research leading to these results has also received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/REGPOT-2012-2013.1 under grant agreement n˚ 316265, BIOCAPS. This document reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript

    9-Genes Reinforce the Phylogeny of Holometabola and Yield Alternate Views on the Phylogenetic Placement of Strepsiptera

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    Background: The extraordinary morphology, reproductive and developmental biology, and behavioral ecology of twisted wing parasites (order Strepsiptera) have puzzled biologists for centuries. Even today, the phylogenetic position of these enigmatic “insects from outer space” [1] remains uncertain and contentious. Recent authors have argued for the placement of Strepsiptera within or as a close relative of beetles (order Coleoptera), as sister group of flies (order Diptera), or even outside of Holometabola.Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we combine data from several recent studies with new data (for a total of 9 nuclear genes and ∼13 kb of aligned data for 34 taxa), to help clarify the phylogenetic placement of Strepsiptera. Our results unequivocally support the monophyly of Neuropteroidea ( = Neuropterida + Coleoptera) + Strepsiptera, but recover Strepsiptera either derived from within polyphagan beetles (order Coleoptera), or in a position sister to Neuropterida. All other supra-ordinal- and ordinal-level relationships recovered with strong nodal support were consistent with most other recent studies. Conclusions/Significance: These results, coupled with the recent proposed placement of Strepsiptera sister to Coleoptera, suggest that while the phylogenetic neighborhood of Strepsiptera has been identified, unequivocal placement to a specific branch within Neuropteroidea will require additional study.Organismic and Evolutionary Biolog

    Analysis of among-site variation in substitution patterns

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    Substitution patterns among nucleotides are often assumed to be constant in phylogenetic analyses. Although variation in the average rate of substitution among sites is commonly accounted for, variation in the relative rates of specific types of substitution is not. Here, we review details of methodologies used for detecting and analyzing differences in substitution processes among predefined groups of sites. We describe how such analyses can be performed using existing phylogenetic tools, and discuss how new phylogenetic analysis tools we have recently developed can be used to provide more detailed and sensitive analyses, including study of the evolution of mutation and substitution processes. As an example we consider the mitochondrial genome, for which two types of transition deaminations (C⇒T and A⇒G) are strongly affected by single-strandedness during replication, resulting in a strand asymmetric mutation process. Since time spent single-stranded varies along the mitochondrial genome, their differential mutational response results in very different substitution patterns in different regions of the genome