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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Apr;72(4):2379-84.

Introducing TreeClimber, a test to compare microbial community structures.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The phylogenetic and ecological complexity of microbial communities necessitates the development of new methods to determine whether two or more communities have the same structure even though it is not possible to sample the communities exhaustively. To address this need, we adapted a method used in population genetics, the parsimony test, to determine the relatedness of communities. Here we describe our implementation of the parsimony test, TreeClimber, in which we reanalyzed six previously published studies and compared the results of the analysis to those obtained using integral-LIBSHUFF.

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