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  • The probability of monophyly of a sample of gene lineages on a species tree. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Mehta, R. S., Bryant, D., Rosenberg, N. A. 2016; 113 (29): 8002-8009


    Monophyletic groups-groups that consist of all of the descendants of a most recent common ancestor-arise naturally as a consequence of descent processes that result in meaningful distinctions between organisms. Aspects of monophyly are therefore central to fields that examine and use genealogical descent. In particular, studies in conservation genetics, phylogeography, population genetics, species delimitation, and systematics can all make use of mathematical predictions under evolutionary models about features of monophyly. One important calculation, the probability that a set of gene lineages is monophyletic under a two-species neutral coalescent model, has been used in many studies. Here, we extend this calculation for a species tree model that contains arbitrarily many species. We study the effects of species tree topology and branch lengths on the monophyly probability. These analyses reveal new behavior, including the maintenance of nontrivial monophyly probabilities for gene lineage samples that span multiple species and even for lineages that do not derive from a monophyletic species group. We illustrate the mathematical results using an example application to data from maize and teosinte.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1601074113

    View details for PubMedID 27432988

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4961160