Phylogenomics and the reconstruction of the tree of life

Nat Rev Genet. 2005 May;6(5):361-75. doi: 10.1038/nrg1603.


As more complete genomes are sequenced, phylogenetic analysis is entering a new era - that of phylogenomics. One branch of this expanding field aims to reconstruct the evolutionary history of organisms on the basis of the analysis of their genomes. Recent studies have demonstrated the power of this approach, which has the potential to provide answers to several fundamental evolutionary questions. However, challenges for the future have also been revealed. The very nature of the evolutionary history of organisms and the limitations of current phylogenetic reconstruction methods mean that part of the tree of life might prove difficult, if not impossible, to resolve with confidence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Phylogeny*