PoMo: an allele frequency-based approach for species tree estimation

Nicola De Maio, Dominik Schrempf, Carolin Kosiol

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52 Citations (Scopus)
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Incomplete lineage sorting can cause incongruencies of the overall species-level phylogenetic tree with the phylogenetic trees for individual genes or genomic segments. If these incongruencies are not accounted for, it is possible to incur several biases in species tree estimation. Here, we present a simple maximum likelihood approach that accounts for ancestral variation and incomplete lineage sorting. We use a POlymorphisms-aware phylogenetic MOdel (PoMo) that we have recently shown to efficiently estimate mutation rates and fixation biases from within and between-species variation data. We extend this model to perform efficient estimation of species trees. We test the performance of PoMo in several different scenarios of incomplete lineage sorting using simulations and compare it with existing methods both in accuracy and computational speed. In contrast to other approaches, our model does not use coalescent theory but is allele frequency based. We show that PoMo is well suited for genome-wide species tree estimation and that on such data it is more accurate than previous approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1031
Number of pages14
JournalSystematic Biology
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Incomplete lineage sorting
  • Phylogenetics
  • PoMo
  • Species tree


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