Sarah Bastkowski,
Andreas Spillner and
Vincent Moulton. Fishing for minimum evolution trees with NeighborNets. In IPL, Vol. 114(12):318, 2014. Keywords: circular split system, from distances, NeighborNet, phylogeny, polynomial.
Toggle abstract
"In evolutionary biology, biologists commonly use a phylogenetic tree to represent the evolutionary history of some set of species. A common approach taken to construct such a tree is to search through the space of all possible phylogenetic trees on the set so as to find one that optimizes some score function, such as the minimum evolution criterion. However, this is hampered by the fact that the space of phylogenetic trees is extremely large in general. Interestingly, an alternative approach, which has received somewhat less attention in the literature, is to instead search for trees within some set of bipartitions or splits of the set of species in question. Here we consider the problem of searching through a set of splits that is circular. Such sets can, for example, be generated by the NeighborNet algorithm for constructing phylogenetic networks. More specifically, we present an O(n4) time algorithm for finding an optimal minimum evolution tree in a circular set of splits on a set of species of size n. In addition, using simulations, we compare the performance of this algorithm when applied to NeighborNet output with that of FastME, a leading method for searching for minimum evolution trees in tree space. We find that, even though a circular set of splits represents just a tiny fraction of the total number of possible splits of a set, the trees obtained from circular sets compare quite favorably with those obtained with FastME, suggesting that the approach could warrant further investigation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V."
