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Bull Math Biol. 2011 Jun;73(6):1398-411. doi: 10.1007/s11538-010-9579-3. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

On the number of binary characters needed to recover a phylogeny using maximum parsimony.

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1
Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

Abstract

We give an explicit construction to solve a conjecture of Mike Steel and David Penny that any phylogeny involving N taxa can be recovered unambiguously using on the order of log‚ÄČN binary characters and the method of maximum parsimony. Biologically, this means that homoplasy need not be a deterrent to parsimony methods. Some patterns of homoplasy are phylogenetically informative and can exponentially reduce the amount of data needed to resolve a phylogeny.

PMID:
20827512
DOI:
10.1007/s11538-010-9579-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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