Economics at your fingertips  

Improving Divergence Time Estimation in Phylogenetics: More Taxa vs. Longer Sequences

Svennblad Bodil and Britton Tom
Additional contact information
Svennblad Bodil: Uppsala University
Britton Tom: Stockholm University

Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology, 2007, vol. 6, issue 1, 1-26

Abstract: Maximum Likelihood (ML) is used as a standard method for estimating divergence times in phylogenetic trees. The method is consistent and hence the precision can be improved by analyzing longer sequences. In this paper we show that the precision can be improved also by including more taxa to the existing tree. It is a theoretical study, complemented with simulations, showing that the gain in precision is faster with increasing sequence length than with increasing number of taxa.We further compare the results of estimating divergence times using Maximum Likelihood with the much faster and less complex estimation method of Mean Path Length (MPL), which works with the evolution model of Jukes-Cantor (1969). It is shown that MPL is as good as ML in estimating divergence times of nodes that are located near the root in the tree, but ML is better in estimating the divergence times of nodes lower down.

Date: 2007
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)
For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.2202/1544-6115.1313

Access Statistics for this article

Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology is currently edited by Michael P. H. Stumpf

More articles in Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology from De Gruyter
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Peter Golla ().

Page updated 2021-05-07
Handle: RePEc:bpj:sagmbi:v:6:y:2007:i:1:n:35