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On the inference of complex phylogenetic networks by Markov Chain Monte-Carlo

Abstract : For various species, high quality sequences and complete genomes are nowadays available for many individuals. This makes data analysis challenging, as methods need not only to be accurate, but also time efficient given the tremendous amount of data to process. In this article, we introduce an efficient method to infer the evolutionary history of individuals under the multispecies coalescent model in networks (MSNC). Phylogenetic networks are an extension of phylogenetic trees that can contain reticulate nodes, which allow to model complex biological events such as horizontal gene transfer, hybridization, introgression and recombination. We present a novel way to compute the likelihood of biallelic markers sampled along genomes whose evolution involved such events. This likelihood computation is at the heart of a Bayesian network inference method called SnappNet, as it extends the Snapp method [1] inferring evolutionary trees under the multispecies coalescent model, to networks. SnappNet is available as a package of the well-known beast 2 software.
Recently, the MCMCBiMarkers method [2] also extended Snapp to networks. Both methods take biallelic markers as input, rely on the same model of evolution and sample networks in a Bayesian framework, though using different methods for computing priors. However, SnappNet relies on algorithms that are exponentially more time-efficient on non-trivial networks. Using extensive simulations, we compare performances of SnappNet and MCMCBiMarkers. We show that both methods enjoy similar abilities to recover simple networks, but SnappNet is more accurate than MCMCBiMarkers on more complex network scenarios. Also, on complex networks, SnappNet is found to be extremely faster than MCMCBiMarkers in terms of time required for the likelihood computation. We finally illustrate SnappNet performances on a rice data set. SnappNet infers a scenario that is compatible with simpler schemes proposed so far and provides additional understanding of rice evolution.
Author summary: Nowadays, to make the best use of the vast amount of genomic data at our disposal, there is a real need for methods able to model complex biological mechanisms such as hybridization and introgression. Understanding such mechanisms can help geneticists to elaborate strategies in crop improvement that may help reducing poverty and dealing with climate change. However, reconstructing such evolution scenarios is challenging. Indeed, the inference of phylogenetic networks, which explicitly model reticulation events such as hybridization and introgression, requires high computational resources. Then, on large data sets, biologists generally deduce reticulation events indirectly using species tree inference tools.
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Contributor : Celine Scornavacca <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 12:46:05 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 3:44:22 AM


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Charles-Elie Rabier, Vincent Berry, Marnus Stoltz, Joao D. Santos, Wensheng Wang, et al.. On the inference of complex phylogenetic networks by Markov Chain Monte-Carlo. PLoS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, In press, pp.1-38. ⟨10.1101/2020.10.07.329425⟩. ⟨hal-03287030v1⟩



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