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Mol Biol Evol. 1995 Sep;12(5):823-33.

Phylogenetic test of the molecular clock and linearized trees.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA.


To estimate approximate divergence times of species or species groups with molecular data, we have developed a method of constructing a linearized tree under the assumption of a molecular clock. We present two tests of the molecular clock for a given topology: two-cluster test and branch-length test. The two-cluster test examines the hypothesis of the molecular clock for the two lineages created by an interior node of the tree, whereas the branch-length test examines the deviation of the branch length between the tree root and a tip from the average length. Sequences evolving excessively fast or slow at a high significance level may be eliminated. A linearized tree will then be constructed for a given topology for the remaining sequences under the assumption of rate constancy. We have used these methods to analyze hominoid mitochondrial DNA and drosophilid Adh gene sequences.

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