Topological properties of phylogenetic trees in evolutionary models
Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Ctra. de Ajalvir km. 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
Corresponding author: a email@example.com
Published online: 21 July 2009
The extent to which evolutionary processes affect the shape of phylogenetic trees is an important open question. Analyses of small trees seem to detect non-trivial asymmetries which are usually ascribed to the presence of correlations in speciation rates. Many models used to construct phylogenetic trees have an algorithmic nature and are rarely biologically grounded. In this article, we analyze the topological properties of phylogenetic trees generated by different evolutionary models (populations of RNA sequences and a simple model with inheritance and mutation) and compare them with the trees produced by known uncorrelated models as the backward coalescent, paying special attention to large trees. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary parameters as mutation rate or selection pressure have a weak influence on the scaling behavior of the trees, while the size of phylogenies strongly affects measured scaling exponents. Within statistical errors, the topological properties of phylogenies generated by evolutionary models are compatible with those measured in balanced, uncorrelated trees.
PACS: 87.23.Kg – Dynamics of evolution / 89.75.Hc – Networks and genealogical trees
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2009