Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Many outstanding questions in the phylogenetic relationships of insect orders

I am trying to get my head around the multiplicity of phylogenetic hypotheses for insect phylogenetic relationships in continuation from my previous post. I have been gathering a number of insect phylogenies from the literature (these include morphological and molecular based phylogenies). I wanted to illustrate where the hypotheses were conflicting so I used a SuperNetwork with no edge weights in SplitsTree. This gives an idea of how much conflicting evidence there still is at the base of the Pterygota and also the large number of studies that have focused on the Endopterygota, in particular the relationship of the Strepsiptera to the other orders. Many of the orders have only been included in one study, in particular the basal orders. What I would like to do at some point, is show how the insect phylogeny has changed over time by layering the phylogenies chronologically onto one another to form the above SuperNetwork.

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Ross Mounce said...

Interesting... How does SplitsTree (in this usage - topology only I assume?) differ from Nye's METATREE? Would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of the SplitsTree and the METATREE.

bljog said...

Unfortunately METATREE only works when the trees have the same tips so
a lot of the information gets lost. In that sense SpitsTree
SuperNetwork enables comparisons between a greater number of trees and
shows more information.

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