A tree metric using structure and length to capture distinct phylogenetic signals

A tree metric using structure and length to capture distinct phylogenetic signalsMichelle Kendall, Caroline Colijn
Subjects: Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE)

Phylogenetic trees are a central tool in understanding evolution. They are typically inferred from sequence data, and capture evolutionary relationships through time. It is essential to be able to compare trees from different data sources (e.g. several genes from the same organisms) and different inference methods. We propose a new metric for robust, quantitative comparison of rooted, labeled trees. It enables clear visualizations of tree space, gives meaningful comparisons between trees, and can detect distinct islands of tree topologies in posterior distributions of trees. This makes it possible to select well-supported summary trees. We demonstrate our approach on Dengue fever phylogenies.

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