Phylogenomics is aimed at studying functional and evolutionary aspects of genome biology using phylogenetic analysis of whole genomes. Current approaches to genome phylogenies are commonly founded in terms of phylogenetic trees. However, several evolutionary processes are non tree-like in nature, including recombination and lateral gene transfer (LGT). Phylogenomic networks are a special type of phylogenetic network reconstructed from fully sequenced genomes. The network model, comprising genomes connected by pairwise evolutionary relations, enables the reconstruction of both vertical and LGT events. Modeling genome evolution in the form of a network enables the use of an extensive toolbox developed for network research. The structural properties of phylogenomic networks open up fundamentally new insights into genome evolution.
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