Beyond Linear Sequence Comparisons: The use of genome-level characters for phylogenetic reconstruction
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Beyond Linear Sequence Comparisons: The use of genome-level characters for phylogenetic reconstruction

  • Author(s): Boore, Jeffrey L.
  • et al.
Abstract

Although the phylogenetic relationships of many organisms have been convincingly resolved by the comparisons of nucleotide or amino acid sequences, others have remained equivocal despite great effort. Now that large-scale genome sequencing projects are sampling many lineages, it is becoming feasible to compare large data sets of genome-level features and to develop this as a tool for phylogenetic reconstruction that has advantages over conventional sequence comparisons. Although it is unlikely that these will address a large number of evolutionary branch points across the broad tree of life due to the infeasibility of such sampling, they have great potential for convincingly resolving many critical, contested relationships for which no other data seems promising. However, it is important that we recognize potential pitfalls, establish reasonable standards for acceptance, and employ rigorous methodology to guard against a return to earlier days of scenario-driven evolutionary reconstructions.

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