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if you were making evolutionary trees how would you make sure they were accurate and not based on convergent evolution?
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3.6 years ago
nhilaski • 0

if you were making evolutionary trees how would you make sure they were accurate and not based on convergent evolution?

-Biology major who needs help understanding bioinformatics

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12 months ago
EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

Convergent evolution means the process by which organisms that are not closely related evolve similar characteristics. A typical example of convergent evolution is the wing of birds and bats. So if you want to build an evolutionary tree, you need to ensure that you use reliable indicators of common ancestry. In bioinformatics, evolutionary (or phylogenetic) trees are built using DNA or protein sequences. Convergent evolution can also be seen at the molecular level due to random mutations and fast evolving sites and gives rise to the phenomenon of long branch attraction. Probably the best way of reducing the problem is to include more species in the tree. A complementary approach is to combine molecular data with other characteristics. Finally there are also tree building methods aimed at reducing the problem for example by correcting for multiple substitutions at the same site.
You may find this introductory review on phylogenetics helpful.

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