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Syst Biol. 1998 Mar;47(1):77-89.

A fast method for approximating maximum likelihoods of phylogenetic trees from nucleotide sequences.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana 70148, USA. jsrbs@uno.edu

Abstract

We have developed a rapid parsimony method for reconstructing ancestral nucleotide states that allows calculation of initial branch lengths that are good approximations to optimal maximum-likelihood estimates under several commonly used substitution models. Use of these approximate branch lengths (rather than fixed arbitrary values) as starting points significantly reduces the time required for iteration to a solution that maximizes the likelihood of a tree. These branch lengths are close enough to the optimal values that they can be used without further iteration to calculate approximate maximum-likelihood scores that are very close to the "exact" scores found by iteration. Several strategies are described for using these approximate scores to substantially reduce times needed for maximum-likelihood tree searches.

PMID:
12064242
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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