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PLoS One. 2017 May 1;12(5):e0175895. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175895. eCollection 2017.

Topo-phylogeny: Visualizing evolutionary relationships on a topographic landscape.

Author information

1
Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
2
Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution & Function, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

Abstract

Phylogenetic trees are the de facto standard for visualizing evolutionary relationships, but large trees can be difficult to interpret because they require a high cognitive load to identify relationships between multiple operational taxonomic units (OTUs). We present a new tool for displaying phylogenetic relationships as a topographic map in which OTUs autonomously attract or repel one another based on their individual branch lengths and distance to a common ancestor. This data visualization paradigm makes it possible to preattentively identify the nature of the relationship between items without having to trace a complex network of branches back to the root. This tool was developed for exploring phylogenetic data, but the technique could be extended for visualizing other hierarchical structures as well.

PMID:
28459802
PMCID:
PMC5411050
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0175895
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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