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Systematic Biology

Adam D Leaché, Tianqi Zhu, Bruce Rannala, Ziheng Yang
Recent simulation studies examining the performance of Bayesian species delimitation as implemented in the BPP program have suggested that BPP may detect population splits but not species divergences and that it tends to over-split when data of many loci are analyzed. Here we confirm these results and provide the mathematical justifications. We point out that the distinction between population and species splits made in the protracted speciation model has no influence on the generation of gene trees and sequence data, which explains why no method can use such data to distinguish between population splits and speciation...
July 5, 2018: Systematic Biology
Patricio Maturana R, Brendon J Brewer, Steffen Klaere, Remco R Bouckaert
Bayesian inference methods rely on numerical algorithms for both model selection and parameter inference. In general, these algorithms require a high computational effort to yield reliable estimates. One of the major challenges in phylogenetics is the estimation of the marginal likelihood. This quantity is commonly used for comparing different evolutionary models, but its calculation, even for simple models, incurs high computational cost. Another interesting challenge relates to the estimation of the posterior distribution...
June 29, 2018: Systematic Biology
Sebastian Duchene, Remco Bouckaert, David A Duchene, Tanja Stadler, Alexei J Drummond
Rapidly evolving pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, accumulate genetic change at a similar timescale over which their epidemiological processes occur, such that it is possible to make inferences about their infectious spread using phylogenetic time-trees. For this purpose it is necessary to choose a phylodynamic model. However, the resulting inferences are contingent on whether the model adequately describes key features of the data. Model adequacy methods allow formal rejection of a model if it cannot generate the main features of the data...
June 25, 2018: Systematic Biology
Alex Dornburg, Zhuo Su, Jeffrey P Townsend
With the rise of genome- scale datasets there has been a call for increased data scrutiny and careful selection of loci appropriate for attempting the resolution of a phylogenetic problem. Such loci are desired to maximize phylogenetic information content while minimizing the risk of homoplasy. Theory posits the existence of characters that evolve under such an optimum rate, and efforts to determine optimal rates of inference have been a cornerstone of phylogenetic experimental design for over two decades. However, both theoretical and empirical investigations of optimal rates have varied dramatically in their conclusions: spanning no relationship to a tight relationship between the rate of change and phylogenetic utility...
June 25, 2018: Systematic Biology
Carolina L N Costa, Paula Lemos-Costa, Flavia M D Marquitti, Lucas D Fernandes, Marlon F Ramos, David M Schneider, Ayana B Martins, Marcus A M Aguiar
Phylogenetic trees are representations of evolutionary relationships among species and contain signatures of the processes responsible for the speciation events they display. Inferring processes from tree properties, however, is challenging. To address this problem we analysed a spatially-explicit model of speciation where genome size and mating range can be controlled. We simulated parapatric and sympatric (narrow and wide mating range, respectively) radiations and constructed their phylogenetic trees, computing structural properties such as tree balance and speed of diversification...
June 23, 2018: Systematic Biology
Daniele Silvestro, Marcelo F Tejedor, Martha L Serrano-Serrano, Oriane Loiseau, Victor Rossier, Jonathan Rolland, Alexander Zizka, Sebastian Höhna, Alexandre Antonelli, Nicolas Salamin
New World monkeys (platyrrhines) are one of the most diverse groups of primates, occupying today a wide range of ecosystems in the American tropics and exhibiting large variations in ecology, morphology, and behavior. Although the relationships among the almost 200 living species are relatively well understood, we lack robust estimates of the timing of origin, ancestral morphology, and geographic range evolution of the clade. Here we integrate paleontological and molecular evidence to assess the evolutionary dynamics of extinct and extant platyrrhines...
June 20, 2018: Systematic Biology
Clavel Julien, Aristide Leandro, Morlon Hélène
Working with high-dimensional phylogenetic comparative datasets is challenging because likelihood-based multivariate methods suffer from low statistical performances as the number of traits p approaches the number of species n and because some computational complications occur when p exceeds n. Alternative phylogenetic comparative methods have recently been proposed to deal with the large p small n scenario but their use and performances are limited. Here we develop a penalized likelihood framework to deal with high-dimensional comparative datasets...
June 19, 2018: Systematic Biology
Joseph F Walker, Joseph W Brown, Stephen A Smith
Recent studies have demonstrated that conflict is common among gene trees in phylogenomic studies, and that less than one percent of genes may ultimately drive species tree inference in supermatrix analyses. Here, we examined two datasets where supermatrix and coalescent-based species trees conflict. We identified two highly influential "outlier" genes in each dataset. When removed from each dataset, the inferred supermatrix trees matched the topologies obtained from coalescent analyses. We also demonstrate that, while the outlier genes in the vertebrate dataset have been shown in a previous study to be the result of errors in orthology detection, the outlier genes from a plant dataset did not exhibit any obvious systematic error and therefore may be the result of some biological process yet to be determined...
June 8, 2018: Systematic Biology
Julien Troudet, Régine Vignes-Lebbe, Philippe Grandcolas, Frédéric Legendre
Primary biodiversity data represent the fundamental elements of any study in systematics and evolution. They are, however, no longer gathered as they used to be and the mass-production of observation-based occurrences is overthrowing the collection of specimen-based occurrences. Although this change in practice is a major upheaval with significant consequences in the study of biodiversity, it remains understudied and has not attracted yet the attention it deserves. Analyzing 536 million occurrences from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) mediated data, we show that this spectacular change affects the 24 eukaryote taxonomic classes we targeted: from 1970 to 2016 the proportion of occurrences marked as traceable to tangible material (i...
June 8, 2018: Systematic Biology
Jonathan D Mitchell, Jeremy G Sumner, Barbara R Holland
We give a non-technical introduction to convergence-divergence models, a new modeling approach for phylogenetic data that allows for the usual divergence of lineages after lineage-splitting but also allows for taxa to converge, i.e. become more similar over time. By examining the 3-taxon case in some detail we illustrate that phylogeneticists have been "spoiled" in the sense of not having to think about the structural parameters in their models by virtue of the strong assumption that evolution is tree-like...
May 18, 2018: Systematic Biology
Jonathan S Mitchell, Rampal S Etienne, Daniel L Rabosky
Time-calibrated phylogenies of living species have been widely used to study the tempo and mode of species diversification. However, it is increasingly clear that inferences about species diversification - extinction rates in particular - can be unreliable in the absence of paleontological data. We introduce a general framework based on the fossilized birth-death process for studying speciation-extinction dynamics on phylogenies of extant and extinct species. The model assumes that phylogenies can be modeled as a mixture of distinct evolutionary rate regimes and that a hierarchical Poisson process governs the number of such rate regimes across a tree...
May 18, 2018: Systematic Biology
Tobias Andermann, Alexandre M Fernandes, Urban Olsson, Mats Töpel, Bernard Pfeil, Bengt Oxelman, Alexandre Aleixo, Brant C Faircloth, Alexandre Antonelli
Advances in high-throughput sequencing techniques now allow relatively easy and affordable sequencing of large portions of the genome, even for non-model organisms. Many phylogenetic studies reduce costs by focusing their sequencing efforts on a selected set of targeted loci, commonly enriched using sequence capture. The advantage of this approach is that it recovers a consistent set of loci, each with high sequencing depth, which leads to more confidence in the assembly of target sequences. High sequencing depth can also be used to identify phylogenetically informative allelic variation within sequenced individuals, but allele sequences are infrequently assembled in phylogenetic studies...
May 15, 2018: Systematic Biology
Haim Ashkenazy, Itamar Sela, Eli Levy Karin, Giddy Landan, Tal Pupko
The classic methodology of inferring a phylogenetic tree from sequence data is composed of two steps. First, a multiple sequence alignment (MSA) is computed. Then, a tree is reconstructed assuming the MSA is correct. Yet, inferred MSAs were shown to be inaccurate and alignment errors reduce tree inference accuracy. It was previously proposed that filtering unreliable alignment regions can increase the accuracy of tree inference. However, it was also demonstrated that the benefit of this filtering is often obscured by the resulting loss of phylogenetic signal...
May 15, 2018: Systematic Biology
Richard H Adams, Drew R Schield, Daren C Card, Todd A Castoe
The assumption of strictly neutral evolution is fundamental to the multispecies coalescent model and permits the derivation of gene tree distributions and coalescent times conditioned on a given species tree. In this study, we conduct computer simulations to explore the effects of violating this assumption in the form of species-specific positive selection when estimating species trees, species delimitations, and coalescent parameters under the model. We simulated datasets under an array of evolutionary scenarios that differ in both speciation parameters (i...
May 11, 2018: Systematic Biology
Andrew Rambaut, Alexei J Drummond, Dong Xie, Guy Baele, Marc A Suchard
Bayesian inference of phylogeny using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) (Drummond et al., 2002; Mau et al., 1999; Rannala and Yang, 1996) flourishes as a popular approach to uncover the evolutionary relationships among taxa, such as genes, genomes, individuals or species. MCMC approaches generate samples of model parameter values - including the phylogenetic tree -drawn from their posterior distribution given molecular sequence data and a selection of evolutionary models. Visualising, tabulating and marginalising these samples is critical for approximating the posterior quantities of interest that one reports as the outcome of a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis...
April 27, 2018: Systematic Biology
Josef C Uyeda, Rosana Zenil-Ferguson, Matthew W Pennell
As a result of the process of descent with modification, closely related species tend to be similar to one another in a myriad different ways. In statistical terms, this means that traits measured on one species will not be independent of traits measured on others. Since their introduction in the 1980s, phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) have been framed as a solution to this problem. In this paper, we argue that this way of thinking about PCMs is deeply misleading. Not only has this sowed widespread confusion in the literature about what PCMs are doing but has led us to develop methods that are susceptible to the very thing we sought to build defenses against - unreplicated evolutionary events...
April 25, 2018: Systematic Biology
Paul Bastide, Claudia Solís-Lemus, Ricardo Kriebel, K William Sparks, Cécile Ané
The goal of Phylogenetic Comparative Methods (PCMs) is to study the distribution of quantitative traits among related species. The observed traits are often seen as the result of a Brownian Motion (BM) along the branches of a phylogenetic tree. Reticulation events such as hybridization, gene flow or horizontal gene transfer, can substantially affect a species' traits, but are not modeled by a tree. Phylogenetic networks have been designed to represent reticulate evolution. As they become available for downstream analyses, new models of trait evolution are needed, applicable to networks...
April 25, 2018: Systematic Biology
Leo Van Iersel, Mark Jones, Celine Scornavacca
Phylogenetic networks are well suited to represent evolutionary histories comprising reticulate evolution. Several methods aiming at reconstructing explicit phylogenetic networks have been developed in the last two decades. In this article, we propose a new definition of maximum parsimony for phylogenetic networks that permits to model biological scenarios that cannot be modeled by the definitions currently present in the literature (namely, the "hardwired" and "softwired" parsimony). Building on this new definition, we provide several algorithmic results that lay the foundations for new parsimony-based methods for phylogenetic network reconstruction...
May 1, 2018: Systematic Biology
Vu Dinh, Aaron E Darling, Frederick A Matsen Iv
Phylogenetics, the inference of evolutionary trees from molecular sequence data such as DNA, is an enterprise that yields valuable evolutionary understanding of many biological systems. Bayesian phylogenetic algorithms, which approximate a posterior distribution on trees, have become a popular if computationally expensive means of doing phylogenetics. Modern data collection technologies are quickly adding new sequences to already substantial databases. With all current techniques for Bayesian phylogenetics, computation must start anew each time a sequence becomes available, making it costly to maintain an up-to-date estimate of a phylogenetic posterior...
May 1, 2018: Systematic Biology
Lam-Tung Nguyen, Arndt von Haeseler, Bui Quang Minh
The invariable site plus $\Gamma$ model (I$+\Gamma)$ is widely used to model rate heterogeneity among alignment sites in maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses. The proof that the I$+$ continuous $\Gamma$ model is identifiable (model parameters can be inferred correctly given enough data) has increased the creditability of its application to phylogeny reconstruction. However, most phylogenetic software implement the I$+$ discrete $\Gamma$ model, whose identifiability is likely but unproven. How well the parameters of the I$+$ discrete $\Gamma$ model are estimated is still disputed...
May 1, 2018: Systematic Biology
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