Mar 22, 2001

Properties of phylogenetic trees generated by Yule-type speciation models

Mathematical Biosciences
Mike Steel, A McKenzie

Abstract

We investigate some discrete structural properties of evolutionary trees generated under simple null models of speciation, such as the Yule model. These models have been used as priors in Bayesian approaches to phylogenetic analysis, and also to test hypotheses concerning the speciation process. In this paper we describe new results for three properties of trees generated under such models. Firstly, for a rooted tree generated by the Yule model we describe the probability distribution on the depth (number of edges from the root) of the most recent common ancestor of a random subset of k species. Next we show that, for trees generated under the Yule model, the approximate position of the root can be estimated from the associated unrooted tree, even for trees with a large number of leaves. Finally, we analyse a biologically motivated extension of the Yule model and describe its distribution on tree shapes when speciation occurs in rapid bursts.

  • References6
  • Citations54

References

  • References6
  • Citations54

Citations

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