Highlighted Papers

Open Tree

Synthesis of phylogeny and taxonomy into a comprehensive tree of life

A recent study published in PNAS from the Open Tree of Life group is the first, to our knowledge, to apply an efficient and automated process for attempting to assemble previously published trees into a complete tree of life. This tree and the underlying data are available to browse and download from the Internet, facilitating subsequent analyses that require evolutionary trees. This work highlights areas where our phylogenetic knowledge is strong, but more importantly, in my opinion, highlights areas of the tree of life where we have little or no knowledge at all.

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Next generation phylogeography of cave and surface Astyanax mexicanus

A paper taking a fresh look at a the challenging question of Astyanax mexicanus phylogeny. I reconstructed a phylogeography for A. mexicanus inferred from both mitochondrial DNA and several thousand single nucleotide polymorphisms from Illumina data. It provides some novel insight into the origin of cave populations from the Sabinos and Río Subterráneo caves and evidence that the Sabinos cave population is part of a unique cave lineage unrelated to other cave populations.

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