Lost branches on the tree of life

PLoS Biol. 2013 Sep;11(9):e1001636. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001636. Epub 2013 Sep 3.


Failure to archive published data can impede reproducibility and inhibit downstream synthesis. Alarmingly, we estimate that ∼70% of existing DNA sequence alignments/phylogenetic trees, representing much of the underpinning of modern phylogenetic analysis, are no longer accessible. The evolutionary biology community needs to adopt policies ensuring that data are publicly archived upon publication.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Nucleic Acid*
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • Research
  • Science
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

Grants and funding

This study was a result of funding from the United States National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov); the relevant grant numbers are DEB#-1301820 (KAC), 1208428 (DES), 1208719 (DSH), 1208741 (LAK). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.