Accuracy of estimated phylogenetic trees from molecular data. II. Gene frequency data.
ABSTRACT The accuracies and efficiencies of three different methods of making phylogenetic trees from gene frequency data were examined by using computer simulation. The methods examined are UPGMA, Farris' (1972) method, and Tateno et al.'s (1982) modified Farris method. In the computer simulation eight species (or populations) were assumed to evolve according to a given model tree, and the evolutionary changes of allele frequencies were followed by using the infinite-allele model. At the end of the simulated evolution five genetic distance measures (Nei's standard and minimum distances, Rogers' distance, Cavalli-Sforza's f theta, and the modified Cavalli-Sforza distance) were computed for all pairs of species, and the distance matrix obtained for each distance measure was used for reconstructing a phylogenetic tree. The phylogenetic tree obtained was then compared with the model tree. The results obtained indicate that in all tree-making methods examined the accuracies of both the topology and branch lengths of a reconstructed tree (rooted tree) are very low when the number of loci used is less than 20 but gradually increase with increasing number of loci. When the expected number of gene substitutions (M) for the shortest branch is 0.1 or more per locus and 30 or more loci are used, the topological error as measured by the distortion index (dT) is not great, but the probability of obtaining the correct topology (P) is less than 0.5 even with 60 loci. When M is as small as 0.004, P is substantially lower. In obtaining a good topology (small dT and high P) UPGMA and the modified Farris method generally show a better performance than the Farris method. The poor performance of the Farris method is observed even when Rogers' distance which obeys the triangle inequality is used. The main reason for this seems to be that the Farris method often gives overestimates of branch lengths. For estimating the expected branch lengths of the true tree UPGMA shows the best performance. For this purpose Nei's standard distance gives a better result than the others because of its linear relationship with the number of gene substitutions. Rogers' or Cavalli-Sforza's distance gives a phylogenetic tree in which the parts near the root are condensed and the other parts are elongated. It is recommended that more than 30 loci, including both polymorphic and monomorphic loci, be used for making phylogenetic trees. The conclusions from this study seem to apply also to data on nucleotide differences obtained by the restriction enzyme techniques.
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ABSTRACT: Although genetic diversity provides the basic substrate for evolution, there are a limited number of studies that assess the impact of recent climate change on intraspecific genetic variation. This study aims to unravel the degree to which historical and contemporary factors shape genetic diversity and structure across a large part of the range of the range-expanding damselfly Coenagrion scitulum (Rambur, 1842). A total of 525 individuals from 31 populations were genotyped at nine microsatellites, and a subset was sequenced at two mitochondrial genes. We inferred the importance of geography, environmental factors, and recent range expansion on genetic diversity and structure. Genetic diversity decreased going westwards, suggesting a signature of historical post-glacial expansion from east to west and the presence of eastern refugia. Although genetic differentiation decreased going northwards, it increased in the northern edge populations, suggesting a role of contemporary range expansion on the genetic make-up of populations. The phylogeographical context was proven to be essential in understanding and identifying the genetic signatures of local contemporary processes. Within this framework, our results highlight that recent range expansion of a good disperser can decrease genetic diversity and increase genetic differentiation which should be considered when devising suitable conservation strategies.Journal of Evolutionary Biology 03/2014; · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Plants may escape unfavorable environments by dispersing to new sites, or by remaining in an ungerminated state at a given site until environmental conditions become favorable. There is limited evidence regarding the occurrence, interplay and relative importance of dispersal processes in time and space in plant populations. Thirty-six natural populations of the annual ruderal species Arabidopsis thaliana were monitored over five consecutive years, sampling both seed bank and above-ground cohorts. We show that immigration rates are considerably higher than previously inferred, averaging 1.7% per population yr(-1) . On the other hand, almost one-third of the individuals in a given above-ground cohort result from seeds shed 2 or 3 yr back in time in 10 of the studied populations. Populations that disappeared one year were recolonized by regeneration from the seed bank the subsequent year. Thus, dispersal in both time and space is an important contributor to the structuring of genetic variability in natural populations of A. thaliana, where a high dispersal rate in time may partly counteract the homogenizing effects of spatial seed and pollen dispersal.New Phytologist 01/2014; · 6.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A major challenge in conservation biology is the need to broadly prioritize conservation efforts when demographic data are limited. One method to address this challenge is to use population genetic data to define groups of populations linked by migration and then use demographic information from monitored populations to draw inferences about the status of unmonitored populations within those groups. We applied this method to anadromous alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), species for which long-term demographic data are limited. Recent decades have seen dramatic declines in these species, which are an important ecological component of coastal ecosystems and once represented an important fishery resource. Results show that most populations comprise genetically distinguishable units, which are nested geographically within genetically distinct clusters or stocks. We identified three distinct stocks in alewife and four stocks in blueback herring. Analysis of available time series data for spawning adult abundance and body size indicate declines across the US ranges of both species, with the most severe declines having occurred for populations belonging to the Southern New England and the Mid-Atlantic Stocks. While all alewife and blueback herring populations deserve conservation attention, those belonging to these genetic stocks warrant the highest conservation prioritization.Evolutionary Applications 02/2014; 7(2). · 4.15 Impact Factor