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IEEE/ACM Trans Comput Biol Bioinform. 2018 Mar-Apr;15(2):398-410. doi: 10.1109/TCBB.2016.2537326. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Autumn Algorithm-Computation of Hybridization Networks for Realistic Phylogenetic Trees.


A minimum hybridization network is a rooted phylogenetic network that displays two given rooted phylogenetic trees using a minimum number of reticulations. Previous mathematical work on their calculation has usually assumed the input trees to be bifurcating, correctly rooted, or that they both contain the same taxa. These assumptions do not hold in biological studies and "realistic" trees have multifurcations, are difficult to root, and rarely contain the same taxa. We present a new algorithm for computing minimum hybridization networks for a given pair of "realistic" rooted phylogenetic trees. We also describe how the algorithm might be used to improve the rooting of the input trees. We introduce the concept of "autumn trees", a nice framework for the formulation of algorithms based on the mathematics of "maximum acyclic agreement forests". While the main computational problem is hard, the run-time depends mainly on how different the given input trees are. In biological studies, where the trees are reasonably similar, our parallel implementation performs well in practice. The algorithm is available in our open source program Dendroscope 3, providing a platform for biologists to explore rooted phylogenetic networks. We demonstrate the utility of the algorithm using several previously studied data sets.

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