staff

Carlos Javier Rivera-Rivera

PhD Student in Vertebrate evolution

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  • office 4081a (Sciences III)
  • LSX: Automated reduction of gene-specific lineage evolutionary rate heterogeneity for multi-gene phylogeny inference bioRxiv: November 16, 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/220053

    abstract

    Motivation: LS3 is a recently published algorithm to reduce lineage evolutionary rate heterogeneity, a condition that can produce inference artifacts in molecular phylogenetics. The LS3 scripts are Linux-specific and the criterion to reduce lineage rate heterogeneity can be too stringent in datasets with both very long and very short branches. Results: LSX is a multi-platform user-friendly R script that performs the LS3 algorithm, and has added features in order to make better lineage rate calculations. In addition, we developed and implemented an alternative version of the algorithm, LS4, which reduces lineage rate heterogeneity not only by detecting branches that are too long but also branches that are too short, resulting in less stringent data filtering. Availability: The LSX script LSx_v.1.1.R and the user manual are available for download at: https://genev.unige.ch/research/laboratory/Juan-Montoya .

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  • Trunk dental tissue evolved independently from underlying dermal bony plates but is associated with surface bones in living odontode-bearing catfish. Proc. Biol. Sci. 2017 Oct;284(1865):. rspb.2017.1831. 10.1098/rspb.2017.1831.

    abstract

    Although oral dental tissue is a vertebrate attribute, trunk dental tissue evolved in several extinct vertebrate lineages but is rare among living species. The question of which processes trigger dental-tissue formation in the trunk remains open, and would shed light on odontogenesis evolution. Extra-oral dental structures (odontodes) in the trunk are associated with underlying dermal bony plates, leading us to ask whether the formation of trunk bony plates is necessary for trunk odontodes to emerge. To address this question, we focus on Loricarioidei: an extant, highly diverse group of catfish whose species all have odontodes. We examined the location and cover of odontodes and trunk dermal bony plates for all six loricarioid families and 17 non-loricarioid catfish families for comparison. We inferred the phylogeny of Loricarioidei using a new 10-gene dataset, eight time-calibration points, and noise-reduction techniques. Based on this phylogeny, we reconstructed the ancestral states of odontode and bony plate cover, and find that trunk odontodes emerged before dermal bony plates in Loricarioidei. Yet we discovered that when bony plates are absent, other surface bones are always associated with odontodes, suggesting a link between osteogenic and odontogenic developmental pathways, and indicating a remarkable trunk odontogenic potential in Loricarioidei.

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  • LS³: A Method for Improving Phylogenomic Inferences When Evolutionary Rates Are Heterogeneous among Taxa. Mol. Biol. Evol. 2016 Jun;33(6):1625-34. msw043. 10.1093/molbev/msw043. PMC4868118.

    abstract

    Phylogenetic inference artifacts can occur when sequence evolution deviates from assumptions made by the models used to analyze them. The combination of strong model assumption violations and highly heterogeneous lineage evolutionary rates can become problematic in phylogenetic inference, and lead to the well-described long-branch attraction (LBA) artifact. Here, we define an objective criterion for assessing lineage evolutionary rate heterogeneity among predefined lineages: the result of a likelihood ratio test between a model in which the lineages evolve at the same rate (homogeneous model) and a model in which different lineage rates are allowed (heterogeneous model). We implement this criterion in the algorithm Locus Specific Sequence Subsampling (LS³), aimed at reducing the effects of LBA in multi-gene datasets. For each gene, LS³ sequentially removes the fastest-evolving taxon of the ingroup and tests for lineage rate homogeneity until all lineages have uniform evolutionary rates. The sequences excluded from the homogeneously evolving taxon subset are flagged as potentially problematic. The software implementation provides the user with the possibility to remove the flagged sequences for generating a new concatenated alignment. We tested LS³ with simulations and two real datasets containing LBA artifacts: a nucleotide dataset regarding the position of Glires within mammals and an amino-acid dataset concerning the position of nematodes within bilaterians. The initially incorrect phylogenies were corrected in all cases upon removing data flagged by LS³.

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