Molecular phylogenetics


Molecular phylogenetics (/məˈlɛkjʊlər ˌfləˈnɛtɪks, mɒ-, m-/[1][2]) is the branch of phylogeny that analyzes genetic, hereditary molecular differences, predominantly in DNA sequences, to gain information on an organism's evolutionary relationships. From these analyses, it is possible to determine the processes by which diversity among species has been achieved. The result of a molecular phylogenetic analysis is expressed in a phylogenetic tree. Molecular phylogenetics is one aspect of molecular systematics, a broader term that also includes the use of molecular data in taxonomy and biogeography.[3][4][5]

Molecular phylogenetics and molecular evolution correlate. Molecular evolution is the process of selective changes (mutations) at a molecular level (genes, proteins, etc.) throughout various branches in the tree of life (evolution). Molecular phylogenetics makes inferences of the evolutionary relationships that arise due to molecular evolution and results in the construction of a phylogenetic tree.[6]

  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach; James Hartmann; Jane Setter (eds.), English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2
  2. ^ "Phylogenetic". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  3. ^ Felsenstein, J. 2004. Inferring phylogenies. Sinauer Associates Incorporated. ISBN 0-87893-177-5.
  4. ^ Soltis, P.S., Soltis, D.E., and Doyle, J.J. (1992) Molecular systematics of plants. Chapman & Hall, New York. ISBN 0-41202-231-1.
  5. ^ Soltis, P.S., Soltis, D.E., and Doyle, J.J. (1998) Molecular Systematics of Plants II: DNA Sequencing. Kluwer Academic Publishers Boston, Dordrecht, London. ISBN 0-41211-131-4.
  6. ^ Hillis, D. M. & Moritz, C. 1996. Molecular systematics. 2nd ed. Sinauer Associates Incorporated. ISBN 0-87893-282-8.

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