Phylogenetics

Definition

Phylogenetics is the attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships between species. Historically, this was done using quantitative morphological data, but modern methods rely more heavily on DNA sequence data.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Comb jellies are remarkably different from other animals. Phylogenetic analyses of broadly sampled ctenophore transcriptome data provide additional evidence that they are the sister group to all other animals and reveal details of their evolutionary relationships to each other.

    • Casey W. Dunn
  • News and Views |

    The evolutionary relationships between extinct species are almost exclusively based on the shape and structure of their fossil specimens. Now, a spectroscopic technique that records a ‘chemical fingerprint’ of fossil plant cuticles is being used to re-interpret the histories of thousands of specimens languishing in museum collections.

    • Jennifer C. McElwain
    Nature Plants 3, 17121
  • Comments and Opinion |

    DNA sequencing is faster and cheaper than ever before but quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Towards a comprehensive understanding of the microbial biosphere, we need more reference genomes from single-celled eukaryotes (protists) across the full breadth of eukaryotic diversity.

    • Shannon J. Sibbald
    •  & John M. Archibald
  • News and Views |

    Resurrection plants can survive extreme drying during periods of prolonged drought stress, maintaining a quiescent state for months to years until the return of water. Analysis of the genome and transcriptome of the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa links the evolution of desiccation tolerance to rewired pre-existing seed pathways.

    • Robert VanBuren
    Nature Plants 3, 17046