Distance-Based Genome Rearrangement Phylogeny

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 11:00am - 11:50am
Keller 3-180
Li-San Wang (The University of Texas at Austin)
Evolution operates on whole genomes through mutations that change the order and strandedness of genes within the genomes. These events are examples of rare genomic changes, which have low frequency and high signal-to-noise ratio. Thus analyses of gene-order data present new opportunities for discoveries about deep evolutionary events, provided that sufficiently accurate methods can be developed to reconstruct evolutionary trees.

In this talk I will present our results in distance-based genome rearrangement phylogeny reconstruction. We approach the problem by developing new statistically-based true evolutionary distance estimators. These estimators are based on the distributions of genomic distances including breakpoint and inversion distances under Markov Models. In our simulation study, we obtain highly accurate trees by using these new distance estimators, even when the amount of evolution in the dataset is high.

This is joint work with Robert K. Jansen and Tandy Warnow at the University of Texas, and Bernard M.E. Moret at the University of New Mexico.