Reconstructing phylogenetic networks from trees


Simone Linz


University of Auckland


Tue, 27/10/2020 - 5:00pm


Zoom meeting (see below)


Recent advances in whole-genome studies provide increasingly strong evidence for a vital role of hybridization in the evolution of certain groups of species and allowing them to adapt to new environments. To represent such complex evolutionary histories as a web of life rather than a simple bifurcating tree of life, phylogenetic (evolutionary) networks have become a popular tool. In the context of reconstructing phylogenetic networks, the problem of characterizing and computing the minimum hybridization number for a set of phylogenetic trees has been investigated by many groups of researchers for the last 15 years. Roughly speaking, this minimum quantifies the number of hybridization events needed to explain a set of trees by simultaneously embedding them in a phylogenetic network. In this talk, we introduce cherry-picking sequences which are particular sequences on the leaves of the trees. We show how these sequences give a novel characterization of the minimum hybridization number for an arbitrarily large collection of phylogenetic trees. This is joint work with Peter Humphries and Charles Semple.

This is a seminar of theĀ Combinatorial Mathematics Society of Australasia.

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