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Evol Bioinform Online. 2013 Jun 12;9:235-8. doi: 10.4137/EBO.S11945. Print 2013.

rbrothers: R Package for Bayesian Multiple Change-Point Recombination Detection.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.


Phylogenetic recombination detection is a fundamental task in bioinformatics and evolutionary biology. Most of the computational tools developed to attack this important problem are not integrated into the growing suite of R packages for statistical analysis of molecular sequences. Here, we present an R package, rbrothers, that makes a Bayesian multiple change-point model, one of the most sophisticated model-based phylogenetic recombination tools, available to R users. Moreover, we equip the Bayesian change-point model with a set of pre- and post- processing routines that will broaden the application domain of this recombination detection framework. Specifically, we implement an algorithm that forms the set of input trees required by multiple change-point models. We also provide functionality for checking Markov chain Monte Carlo convergence and creating estimation result summaries and graphics. Using rbrothers, we perform a comparative analysis of two Salmonella enterica genes, fimA and fimH, that encode major and adhesive subunits of the type 1 fimbriae, respectively. We believe that rbrothers, available at R-Forge: http://evolmod.r-forge.r-project.org/, will allow researchers to incorporate recombination detection into phylogenetic workflows already implemented in R.


Salmonella; evolution; fimA; fimH; phylogenetics

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