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Syst Biol. 2006 Feb;55(1):21-30.

Inferring phylogeny despite incomplete lineage sorting.

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Department of Zoology Research Centre, University of British Columbia, V6T 1Z4 Vancouver, B.C., Canada.


It is now well known that incomplete lineage sorting can cause serious difficulties for phylogenetic inference, but little attention has been paid to methods that attempt to overcome these difficulties by explicitly considering the processes that produce them. Here we explore approaches to phylogenetic inference designed to consider retention and sorting of ancestral polymorphism. We examine how the reconstructability of a species (or population) phylogeny is affected by (a) the number of loci used to estimate the phylogeny and (b) the number of individuals sampled per species. Even in difficult cases with considerable incomplete lineage sorting (times between divergences less than 1 N(e) generations), we found the reconstructed species trees matched the "true" species trees in at least three out of five partitions, as long as a reasonable number of individuals per species were sampled. We also studied the tradeoff between sampling more loci versus more individuals. Although increasing the number of loci gives more accurate trees for a given sampling effort with deeper species trees (e.g., total depth of 10 N(e) generations), sampling more individuals often gives better results than sampling more loci with shallower species trees (e.g., depth = 1 N(e)). Taken together, these results demonstrate that gene sequences retain enough signal to achieve an accurate estimate of phylogeny despite widespread incomplete lineage sorting. Continued improvement in our methods to reconstruct phylogeny near the species level will require a shift to a compound model that considers not only nucleotide or character state substitutions, but also the population genetics processes of lineage sorting. [Coalescence; divergence; population; speciation.].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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