Potential applications and pitfalls of Bayesian inference of phylogeny

Syst Biol. 2002 Oct;51(5):673-88. doi: 10.1080/10635150290102366.


Only recently has Bayesian inference of phylogeny been proposed. The method is now a practical alternative to the other methods; indeed, the method appears to possess advantages over the other methods in terms of ability to use complex models of evolution, ease of interpretation of the results, and computational efficiency. However, the method should be used cautiously. The results of a Bayesian analysis should be examined with respect to the sensitivity of the results to the priors used and the reliability of the Markov chain Monte Carlo approximation of the probabilities of trees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Genetics
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Phylogeny*