During the last ten years, remarkable progress has occurred in the study of molecular evolution. Among the most important factors that are responsible for this progress are the development of new statistical methods and advances in computational technology. In particular, phylogenetic analysis of DNA or protein sequences has become a powerful tool for studying molecular evolution. Along with this developing technology, the application of the new statistical and computational methods has become more complicated and there is no comprehensive volume that treats these methods in depth. Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics fills this gap and present various statistical methods that are easily accessible to general biologists as well as biochemists, bioinformatists and graduate students. The text covers measurement of sequence divergence, construction of phylogenetic trees, statistical tests for detection of positive Darwinian selection, inference of ancestral amino acid sequences, construction of linearized trees, and analysis of allele frequency data. Emphasis is given to practical methods of data analysis, and methods can be learned by working through numerical examples using the computer program MEGA2 that is provided.
An Introduction to Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics presents the fundamental concepts and intellectual tools you need to understand how the genome records information about evolutionary past and processes, how that information can be "read", and what kinds of questions we can use that information to answer. Starting with evolutionary principles, and illustrated throughout with biological examples, it is the perfect starting point on the journey to anunderstanding of the way molecular data is used in modern biology.
The study of evolution at the molecular level has given the subject of evolutionary biology a new significance. Phylogenetic 'trees' of gene sequences are a powerful tool for recovering evolutionary relationships among species, and can be used to answer a broad range of evolutionary and ecological questions. They are also beginning to permeate the medical sciences. In this book, the authors approach the study of molecular evolution with the phylogenetic tree as a central metaphor. This will equip students and professionals with the ability to see both the evolutionary relevance of molecular data, and the significance evolutionary theory has for molecular studies. The book is accessible yet sufficiently detailed and explicit so that the student can learn the mechanics of the procedures discussed. The book is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in molecular evolution/phylogenetic reconstruction. It will also be a useful supplement for students taking wider courses in evolution, as well as a valuable resource for professionals. First student textbook of phylogenetic reconstruction which uses the tree as a central metaphor of evolution. Chapter summaries and annotated suggestions for further reading. Worked examples facilitate understanding of some of the more complex issues. Emphasis on clarity and accessibility.
This volume surveys advances in the study of adaptive radiation showing how molecular characters can be used to analyze the origin and pattern of diversification within a lineage in a non-circular fashion.
The use of DNA and other biological macromolecules has revolutionized systematic studies of evolutionary history. Methods that use sequences of nucleotides and amino acids are now routinely used as data for addressing evolutionary questions that, although not new questions, have defied description and analysis. The world-renowned contributors use these new methods to unravel particular aspects of the evolutionary history of birds. Avian Molecular Evolution and Systematics presents an overview of the theory and application of molecular systematics, focusing on the phylogeny and evolutionary biology of birds. New, developing areas in the phylogeny of birds at multiple taxonomic areas are covered, as well as methods of analysis for molecular data, evolutionary genetics within and between bird populations, and the application of molecular-based phylogenies to broader questions of evolution. Contains authoritative contributions from leading researchers Discusses the utility of different molecular markers for questions of avian evolution, involving populations and higher-level taxa Applies molecular-based phylogenies of birds and molecular population genetics data to broad questions of organismal and molecular evolution. Compares and contrasts molecular and morphological data sets
In the current era of complete genome sequencing, Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution provides an up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to bioinformatics in the context of evolutionary biology. This accessible text: provides a thorough examination of sequence analysis, biological databases, pattern recognition, and applications to genomics, microarrays, and proteomics emphasizes the theoretical and statistical methods used in bioinformatics programs in a way that is accessible to biological science students places bioinformatics in the context of evolutionary biology, including population genetics, molecular evolution, molecular phylogenetics, and their applications features end-of-chapter problems and self-tests to help students synthesize the materials and apply their understanding is accompanied by a dedicated website - www.blackwellpublishing.com/higgs - containing downloadable sequences, links to web resources, answers to self-test questions, and all artwork in downloadable format (artwork also available to instructors on CD-ROM). This important textbook will equip readers with a thorough understanding of the quantitative methods used in the analysis of molecular evolution, and will be essential reading for advanced undergraduates, graduates, and researchers in molecular biology, genetics, genomics, computational biology, and bioinformatics courses.
The world is full of DNA. The salad in your sandwich, the pollen in the air, even the dirt on your shoes contains DNA from which a vast amount of information can be gained, including the identification of individuals and species, the structure and distribution of populations, the origins oflineages and the pace and mechanisms of evolutionary change. Reading the story in DNA is a beginner's guide to molecular evolution, and is the perfect companion on the journey to a proper understanding of molecular data. The central theme of the book is that in order to get ecological or evolutionary information out of molecular data, you must understand the way that the molecular data evolves and the influence that the assumptions you make have on the answers you get. The book blends beautifully clear explanations with cutting-edge examples from the research literature, drawing on the fields of biodiversity, conservation biology, epidemiology, phylogeography, evolutionary development and ancient DNA to explore topics such as molecular evolutionary theory,phylogenetics, molecular clocks, detecting selection and recombination, and identifying individuals from molecular data.Technical detail is set apart from the main text, allowing the student to approach the material in different ways: read only the text and skip the finer details, use the text to understand the technical details or vice versa, or identify key case studies and read the concepts and methods particularto that case. The use of "bioinformatic" analyses has revolutionized biology, and there are now few areas of evolution and ecology that remain untouched by molecular data. Today's biology students and researchers need to be familiar with the application of molecular data to answering evolutionary questions. Butthe most pressing question is usually: "Where do I start?!" This book is the answer.Online Resource Centre:The Online Resource Centre features:- Figures from the book in electronic format, ready to download- Discussion questions and tutorial exercisesFor students:- Annotated weblinks- Topical updates: links to relevant journal articles and websites that describe advancements in the field since the book's publication
Recently, evidence has been accumulated which shows that some of the groups formerly regarded as independent "phyla" such as Pogonophora (now recognized as Siboglinidae), Echiura, Myzostomida and perhaps Sipuncula, are most probably nothing else than greatly modified Annelida. The extreme morphological diversity found especially in Polychaeta displays the plasticity of a simple segmented organisation that basically is nothing else but a serial repetition of identical units. Thus, annelids are highly important to our understanding of fundamental questions about morphological and adaptive diversity, as well as clarifying evolutionary changes and phylogenetic relationships. The book aims to summarize our knowledge on Polychaetes polychaetes and their allies and gives an overview of recent advances gained by studies that employed conventional and modern methods plus, increasingly and importantly, the use of molecular markers and computer-assisted kinship analyses. It also reflects the state of art in polychaete sciences and presents new questions and controversies. As such it will significantly influence the direction of research on Polychaeta and their related taxa.
The increasing availability of molecular and genetic databases coupled with the growing power of computers gives biologists opportunities to address new issues, such as the patterns of molecular evolution, and re-assess old ones, such as the role of adaptation in species diversification. In the second edition, the book continues to integrate a wide variety of data analysis methods into a single and flexible interface: the R language. This open source language is available for a wide range of computer systems and has been adopted as a computational environment by many authors of statistical software. Adopting R as a main tool for phylogenetic analyses will ease the workflow in biologists' data analyses, ensure greater scientific repeatability, and enhance the exchange of ideas and methodological developments. The second edition is completed updated, covering the full gamut of R packages for this area that have been introduced to the market since its previous publication five years ago. There is also a new chapter on the simulation of evolutionary data. Graduate students and researchers in evolutionary biology can use this book as a reference for data analyses, whereas researchers in bioinformatics interested in evolutionary analyses will learn how to implement these methods in R. The book starts with a presentation of different R packages and gives a short introduction to R for phylogeneticists unfamiliar with this language. The basic phylogenetic topics are covered: manipulation of phylogenetic data, phylogeny estimation, tree drawing, phylogenetic comparative methods, and estimation of ancestral characters. The chapter on tree drawing uses R's powerful graphical environment. A section deals with the analysis of diversification with phylogenies, one of the author's favorite research topics. The last chapter is devoted to the development of phylogenetic methods with R and interfaces with other languages (C and C++). Some exercises conclude these chapters.
Molecular Systematics and Plant Evolution discusses the diversity and evolution of plants with a molecular approach. It looks at population genetics, phylogeny (history of evolution) and developmental genetics, to provide a framework from which to understand evolutionary patterns and relationships amongst plants. The international panel of contributors are all respected systematists and evolutionary biologists, who have brought together a wide range of topics from the forefront of research while keeping the text accessible to students. It has been written for senior undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in the fields of botany, systematics, population / conservation genetics, phylogenetics and evolutionary biology.