The PhyLoTA Browser: processing GenBank for molecular phylogenetics research.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Systematic Biology (Impact Factor: 11.53). 07/2008; 57(3):335-46. DOI: 10.1080/10635150802158688
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As an archive of sequence data for over 165,000 species, GenBank is an indispensable resource for phylogenetic inference. Here we describe an informatics processing pipeline and online database, the PhyLoTA Browser (, which offers a view of GenBank tailored for molecular phylogenetics. The first release of the Browser is computed from 2.6 million sequences representing the taxonomically enriched subset of GenBank sequences for eukaryotes (excluding most genome survey sequences, ESTs, and other high-throughput data). In addition to summarizing sequence diversity and species diversity across nodes in the NCBI taxonomy, it reports 87,000 potentially phylogenetically informative clusters of homologous sequences, which can be viewed or downloaded, along with provisional alignments and coarse phylogenetic trees. At each node in the NCBI hierarchy, the user can display a "data availability matrix" of all available sequences for entries in a subtaxa-by-clusters matrix. This matrix provides a guidepost for subsequent assembly of multigene data sets or supertrees. The database allows for comparison of results from previous GenBank releases, highlighting recent additions of either sequences or taxa to GenBank and letting investigators track progress on data availability worldwide. Although the reported alignments and trees are extremely approximate, the database reports several statistics correlated with alignment quality to help users choose from alternative data sources.


Available from: André Wehe, Jun 02, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Comprehensively sampled phylogenetic trees provide the most compelling foundations for strong inferences in comparative evolutionary biology. Mismatches are common, however, between the taxa for which comparative data are available and the taxa sampled by published phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, many published phylogenies are gene trees, which cannot always be adapted immediately for species level comparisons because of discordance, gene duplication, and other confounding biological processes. A new database, STBase, lets comparative biologists quickly retrieve species level phylogenetic hypotheses in response to a query list of species names. The database consists of 1 million single- and multi-locus data sets, each with a confidence set of 1000 putative species trees, computed from GenBank sequence data for 413,000 eukaryotic taxa. Two bodies of theoretical work are leveraged to aid in the assembly of multi-locus concatenated data sets for species tree construction. First, multiply labeled gene trees are pruned to conflict-free singly-labeled species-level trees that can be combined between loci. Second, impacts of missing data in multi-locus data sets are ameliorated by assembling only decisive data sets. Data sets overlapping with the user's query are ranked using a scheme that depends on user-provided weights for tree quality and for taxonomic overlap of the tree with the query. Retrieval times are independent of the size of the database, typically a few seconds. Tree quality is assessed by a real-time evaluation of bootstrap support on just the overlapping subtree. Associated sequence alignments, tree files and metadata can be downloaded for subsequent analysis. STBase provides a tool for comparative biologists interested in exploiting the most relevant sequence data available for the taxa of interest. It may also serve as a prototype for future species tree oriented databases and as a resource for assembly of larger species phylogenies from precomputed trees.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117987. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117987 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Italian Journal of Zoology 01/2015; 82(1):133-142. · 0.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we present a detailed family-level phylogenetic hypothesis for the largest avian order (Aves: Passeriformes) and an unmatched multi-calibrated, relaxed clock inference for the diversification of crown passerines. Extended taxon sampling allowed the recovery of many challenging clades and elucidated their position in the tree. Acanthisittia appear to have diverged from all other passerines at the early Paleogene, which is considerably later than previously suggested. Thus, Passeriformes may be younger and represent an even more intense adaptive radiation compared to the remaining avian orders. Based on our divergence time estimates, a novel hypothesis for the diversification of modern Suboscines is proposed. According to this hypothesis, the first split between New and Old World lineages would be related to the severing of the Africa-South America biotic connection during the mid-late Eocene, implying an African origin for modern Eurylaimides. The monophyletic status of groups not recovered by any subsequent study since their circumscription, viz. Sylvioidea including Paridae, Remizidae, Hyliotidae, and Stenostiridae; and Muscicapoidea including the waxwing assemblage (Bombycilloidea) were notable topological findings. We also propose possible ecological interactions that may have shaped the distinct Oscine distribution patterns in the New World. The insectivorous endemic Oscines of the Americas, Vireonidae (Corvoidea), Mimidae, and Troglodytidae (Muscicapoidea), probably interfered with autochthonous Suboscines through direct competition. Thus, the Early Miocene arrival of these lineages before any other Oscines may have occupied the few available niches left by Tyrannides, constraining the diversification of insectivorous Oscines that arrived in the Americas later. The predominantly frugivorous-nectarivorous members of Passeroidea, which account for most of the diversity of New World-endemic Oscines, may not have been subjected to competition with Tyrannides. In fact, the vast availability of frugivory niches combined with weak competition with the autochthonous passerine fauna may have been crucial for passeroids to thrive in the New World. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.03.018 · 4.02 Impact Factor