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  1. Holland, Barbara (Ed.)
    Abstract The evolutionary histories of individual loci in a genome can be estimated independently, but this approach is error-prone due to the limited amount of sequence data available for each gene, which has led to the development of a diverse array of gene tree error correction methods which reduce the distance to the species tree. We investigate the performance of two representatives of these methods: TRACTION and TreeFix. We found that gene tree error correction frequently increases the level of error in gene tree topologies by “correcting” them to be closer to the species tree, even when the true gene and species trees are discordant. We confirm that full Bayesian inference of the gene trees under the multispecies coalescent model is more accurate than independent inference. Future gene tree correction approaches and methods should incorporate an adequately realistic model of evolution instead of relying on oversimplified heuristics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Kubatko, Laura (Ed.)
    Abstract Many recent phylogenetic methods have focused on accurately inferring species trees when there is gene tree discordance due to incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). For almost all of these methods, and for phylogenetic methods in general, the data for each locus are assumed to consist of orthologous, single-copy sequences. Loci that are present in more than a single copy in any of the studied genomes are excluded from the data. These steps greatly reduce the number of loci available for analysis. The question we seek to answer in this study is: what happens if one runs such species tree inference methods on data where paralogy is present, in addition to or without ILS being present? Through simulation studies and analyses of two large biological data sets, we show that running such methods on data with paralogs can still provide accurate results. We use multiple different methods, some of which are based directly on the multispecies coalescent model, and some of which have been proven to be statistically consistent under it. We also treat the paralogous loci in multiple ways: from explicitly denoting them as paralogs, to randomly selecting one copy per species. In all cases, the inferred species trees are as accurate as equivalent analyses using single-copy orthologs. Our results have significant implications for the use of ILS-aware phylogenomic analyses, demonstrating that they do not have to be restricted to single-copy loci. This will greatly increase the amount of data that can be used for phylogenetic inference.[Gene duplication and loss; incomplete lineage sorting; multispecies coalescent; orthology; paralogy.] 
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  3. Abstract

    Deep Learning (DL) has recently enabled unprecedented advances in one of the grand challenges in computational biology: the half-century-old problem of protein structure prediction. In this paper we discuss recent advances, limitations, and future perspectives of DL on five broad areas: protein structure prediction, protein function prediction, genome engineering, systems biology and data integration, and phylogenetic inference. We discuss each application area and cover the main bottlenecks of DL approaches, such as training data, problem scope, and the ability to leverage existing DL architectures in new contexts. To conclude, we provide a summary of the subject-specific and general challenges for DL across the biosciences.

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  4. Abstract

    Phylogenetic networks provide a powerful framework for modeling and analyzing reticulate evolutionary histories. While polyploidy has been shown to be prevalent not only in plants but also in other groups of eukaryotic species, most work done thus far on phylogenetic network inference assumes diploid hybridization. These inference methods have been applied, with varying degrees of success, to data sets with polyploid species, even though polyploidy violates the mathematical assumptions underlying these methods. Statistical methods were developed recently for handling specific types of polyploids and so were parsimony methods that could handle polyploidy more generally yet while excluding processes such as incomplete lineage sorting. In this article, we introduce a new method for inferring most parsimonious phylogenetic networks on data that include polyploid species. Taking gene tree topologies as input, the method seeks a phylogenetic network that minimizes deep coalescences while accounting for polyploidy. We demonstrate the performance of the method on both simulated and biological data. The inference method as well as a method for evaluating evolutionary hypotheses in the form of phylogenetic networks are implemented and publicly available in the PhyloNet software package. [Incomplete lineage sorting; minimizing deep coalescences; multilabeled trees; multispecies network coalescent; phylogenetic networks; polyploidy.]

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