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Question: Looking for suggestions: what is used to mainly place different sub-phyla in the order in which they evolved?
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Hello all. I have two basal animals belonging to sub-phyla cephalochordate and urochordate (both in the chordate phylum). In different phylogenetic studies, cephalochordates evolved before urochordate, in other studies, urochordate comes before cephalochordates. Its vital for my study to identify which truly evolved first. However, I am trying to figure out a way to go about this and what are the factors to consider or use for building a phylogenetic tree that can help resolve this? thanks

ADD COMMENTlink 10 months ago jaqx008 • 40
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Do you have a molecular clock for any of them?

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
Joe
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I do not have a molecular clock for them. Is there a place you would suggest I begin? What sort of data can I use as this clock to create a phylogenetic tree?

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
jaqx008
• 40
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However, there is a protein they both posses that do not exist along the higher chordate groups.

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
jaqx008
• 40
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Yeah as the comment below states, its essentially impossible to know for sure unless you have ancient sequencing data to calibrate with.

the best i can think you’d do is Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation, with something like BEAST perhaps.

The other option might be to test both hypotheses (i.e. with each occurring earlier than the other) and see if there is a more parsimonious/justifiable explanation for your study/data, one way round rather than the other.

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
Joe
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Its vital for my study to identify which truly evolved first.

I don't think that's possible. Taxonomic hypotheses get updated all the time with improving techniques and newly discovered fossils. Use whichever hypothesis has the broadest consensus and uses the best techniques.

Also, different tree-building methods can give very different results. You'll need to have an idea of the model of evolution.

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
BioinformaticsLad
• 120
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Ok, Thank you for your contribution

ADD REPLYlink 10 months ago
jaqx008
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