A sub-discipline of evolutionary biology which involves the study of evolutionary relatedness between different organisms based on their molecular and morphological features.

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2
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2answers
114 views

What are the statistical tools for distinguishing molecular analogy from homology?

Scientists have developed statistical tools that distinguish "distant" homologies from coincidental molecular homoplasy in extremely divergent sequences. What are these tools?How are they used ? I ...
1
vote
1answer
372 views

Does a fully-resolved phylogenetic tree have to be dichotomous?

I read that wherever there is polytomy there is an unresolved pattern of divergence. I don't understand why this is so. When divergence takes place, is it necessary that there will be division into ...
6
votes
2answers
534 views

Goats are so fearless but sheep are not. Is there any genetic difference responsible?

As you see in the picture goats (not only wild goats) are so fearless, but I never saw any sheep do this. What is the source of this difference in behavior?
5
votes
2answers
849 views

Why is a slow worm not considered a snake?

Slow worms are considered lizards as opposed to snakes, both are reptiles. Now I get that there are traits that distinguish them (eye lids, ears ...). But snake species themselves vary already quite a ...
7
votes
2answers
538 views

Why do many fruit trees have five-petaled flowers?

Peach, pear, apple, cherry, and many other fruit trees seem to have flowers comprised of five petals. Assuming there is no evolutionary advantage to confusing students of trees, is there a plausible ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Parsimony (cladistics)

I don't understand how to sum the changes in a phylogenetic tree. Here for example: http://www.med.nyu.edu/rcr/rcr/course/phylo-cladistic.html How do you end up with 8 for the first and 9 for the ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Is there a term to quantify how spread a character is on a phylogenetic tree?

Is there a term which can quantify how 'spread out' a particular character is on a tree? I want to distinguish between a character which is only restricted to a particular clade vs. a character that ...
5
votes
2answers
267 views

How to get smallest subtree containing a set of nodes from BioPhylo?

I'm testing out various phylogenetic libraries in Python. I want to read in a Newick tree, then, given a list of taxa, generate the smallest tree that contains them all. This task is quite simple and ...
19
votes
3answers
45k views

What is the difference between orthologs, paralogs and homologs?

These three terms are often misused in the literature. Many researchers seem to treat them as synonyms. So, what is the definition of each of these terms and how do they differ from one another?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Use of amino-acid sequences versus use of nucleotide sequences in phylogenetic analysis

Reading a paper about gene evolution, I see that they do phylogenetic analysis for bacteria using protein sequences. They take the method from another paper. I can suspect that amino-acid sequences ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How to build S16 rRNAs phylogenetic trees?

Here is what I know so far: Multiple copies are present in prokaryotes, but according to a paper by Lukjancenko el al.[1] it is enough to select the most similar ones. There are stem regions in the ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment?

Are there any tools to do phylogenetic analysis of gene enrichment? This is, I have a list of genes from an experiment performed in several species, with a z-score that can be described as ...
9
votes
5answers
738 views

Finding and Comparing Homologous Genes

I have a gene of of interest that I would like to compare between homologues. How does one go about finding a gene from known coding sequences across phyla? Afterwards I imagine I could do a Clustal ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can rooted and unrooted (phylogenetic) trees be distinguished from one another

I understand that both are similar in structure But how can they be easily identified as one or the other? Is it simply based on the presence or lack of a named root (the root is identified as a ...