Molecular phylogenetics: state-of-the-art methods for looking into the past

Trends Genet. 2001 May;17(5):262-72. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(01)02272-7.


As the amount of molecular sequence data in the public domain grows, so does the range of biological topics that it influences through evolutionary considerations. In recent years, a number of developments have enabled molecular phylogenetic methodology to keep pace. Likelihood-based inferential techniques, although controversial in the past, lie at the heart of these new methods and are producing the promised advances in the understanding of sequence evolution. They allow both a wide variety of phylogenetic inferences from sequence data and robust statistical assessment of all results. It cannot remain acceptable to use outdated data analysis techniques when superior alternatives exist. Here, we discuss the most important and exciting methods currently available to the molecular phylogeneticist.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Biology*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Software