Phyloseminar: "Accurate reconstruction of insertion-deletion histories by statistical phylogenetics"

Tomorrow at 1:00pm Texas Time (CST), Oscar Westesson will be presenting a Phyloseminar.

The “multiple sequence alignment” is a computational artifact. In nature there is no such thing; rather, an alignment represents a partial summary either of indel history, or of structural similarity. Here we show, via evolutionary simulation tests, that all currently-available multiple alignment tools introduce systematic biases into downstream evolutionary analysis - particularly when used to reconstruct histories of insertions and deletions.

I will present our unification of Felsenstein’s “pruning” algorithm and “progressive alignment” to build a fast, linearly-scaling approximate-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic alignment/reconstruction algorithm. Inference of evolutionary history in this framework displays a clear improvement in accuracy over non-statistical phylogenetic reconstructions and a massive improvement in performance over slow-running MCMC statistical reconstructions.

Phyloseminars are streamed live, and can be watched anywhere you have an Internet connection. To learn how to connect, visit the Phyloseminar page.