Evolutionary Biology Molecular Phylogenetics
Ziheng Yang
  • LAST REVIEWED: 24 November 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0098


Molecular phylogenetics is the science of using molecular data (DNA and protein sequences) to infer the phylogenetic relationships among species. While traditionally morphological characters were used to infer species phylogenies, nowadays molecules are the dominating type of data for nearly all species groups. Both the development of statistical methods for phylogenetic reconstruction and divergence time estimation and the use of such methods to infer species phylogenies are major undertakings of the field.

Books and Reviews

A number of textbooks have been written. Some are written for biologists with minimal requirement for statistics while others focus on the statistical methods and require a basic knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, and mathematical statistics. These volumes can be read by applied statisticians, bioinformaticians, computational biologists, and empirical biologists who are comfortable with quantitative arguments.

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