NEWS AND VIEWS†
Trees and/or networks to display intraspecific DNA sequence variation?
Article first published online: 18 MAY 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 21, Issue 14, pages 3385–3390, July 2012
How to Cite
MARDULYN, P. (2012), Trees and/or networks to display intraspecific DNA sequence variation?. Molecular Ecology, 21: 3385–3390. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05622.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 18 MAY 2012
- Received 23 December 2011; revision received 12 March 2012; accepted 11 April 2012
- haplotype networks;
- intraspecific DNA sequences;
- phylogenetic trees;
Phylogenetic trees and networks are both used in the scientific literature to display DNA sequence variation at the intraspecific level. Should we rather use trees or networks? I argue that the process of inferring the most parsimonious genealogical relationships among a set of DNA sequences should be dissociated from the problem of displaying this information in a graph. A network graph is probably more appropriate than a strict consensus tree if many alternative, equally most parsimonious, genealogies are to be included. Within the maximum parsimony framework, current phylogenetic inference and network-building algorithms are both unable to guarantee the finding of all most parsimonious (MP) connections. In fact, each approach can find MP connections that the other does not. Although it should be possible to improve at least the maximum parsimony approach, current implementations of these algorithms are such that it is advisable to use both approaches to increase the probability of finding all possible MP connections among a set of DNA sequences.