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Revisiting the question how many characters are needed to reconstruct the true tree

Presented by: 
M Fischer [CIBIV, Vienna]
Monday 20th June 2011 - 11:50 to 12:10
INI Seminar Room 1
The question of how many sequence sites are required to recover the evolutionary relationship of the underlying species accurately is important for phylogeneticists. It is known that a particularly challenging problem for phylogenetic methods arises when a rapid divergence event occurred in the distant past, which leads to long pending branches and a short internal branch in the corresponding phylogenetic tree.

While most previous approaches tackling this problem considered only 2-state models, we investigate the scenario based on all four (DNA) character states. Particularly, we analyze a binary unrooted 4-taxon phylogenetic tree with a short interior edge and pending edges of multiple length. In my talk, I will present an optimal branch length of the interior edge in this case and I will explain how many characters are at least needed to reconstruct the 'true' tree.
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Presentation Material: 
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons