Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • This chapter is unavailable for purchase
  • Cited by 7
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Lycett, Stephen J. 2017. A Multivariate and Phylogenetic Analysis of Blackfoot Biographic Art: Another Look at the Deadmond Robe. Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 62, Issue. 243, p. 201.

    Awadi, Asma Suchentrunk, Franz Makni, Mohamed and Ben Slimen, Hichem 2016. Variation of partial transferrin sequences and phylogenetic relationships among hares (Lepus capensis, Lagomorpha) from Tunisia. Genetica, Vol. 144, Issue. 5, p. 497.

    Chapman, Joanne R. Hellgren, Olof Helin, Anu S. Kraus, Robert H. S. Cromie, Ruth L. and Waldenström, Jonas 2016. The Evolution of Innate Immune Genes: Purifying and Balancing Selection on β-Defensins in Waterfowl. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 33, Issue. 12, p. 3075.

    Murdock, Duncan J. E. Bengtson, Stefan Marone, Federica Greenwood, Jenny M. and Donoghue, Philip C. J. 2014. Evaluating scenarios for the evolutionary assembly of the brachiopod body plan. Evolution & Development, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 13.

    Donoghue, Philip C. J. Keating, Joseph N. and Smith, Andrew 2014. Early vertebrate evolution. Palaeontology, Vol. 57, Issue. 5, p. 879.

    Fernández Prieto, J. A. and Cires, E. 2014. Phylogenetic placement ofDethawiaMeum, andRivasmartinezia(Apioideae, Apiaceae): Evidence from nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, Vol. 148, Issue. 5, p. 975.

    Whitfield, James B. 2012. Phylogenetic Networks: Concepts, Algorithms and Applications. Systematic Biology, Vol. 61, Issue. 1, p. 176.

  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: June 2012

21 - Split networks. A tool for exploring complex evolutionary relationships in molecular data

from Section VIII - Additional topics


Understanding evolutionary relationships through networks

The standard way to represent evolutionary relationships between a given set of taxa is to use a bifurcating leaf-labeled tree, in which internal nodes represent hypothetical ancestors and leaves are labeled by present-day species (see Chapter 1). Using such a tree presumes that the underlying evolutionary processes are bifurcating. However, in instances where this is not the case, it is questionable whether a bifurcating tree is the best structure to represent phylogenetic relationships. For example, the phenomena of explosive evolutionary radiation, e.g. when an AIDS virus infects a healthy person, might be best modeled not by a bifurcating tree, but by a multifurcating tree (see Chapter 1). In addition, it may be necessary to label internal nodes by taxa if ancestors and present-day species co-exist, as has also been observed with fast evolving viruses.

In certain cases, one might want to allow even more general structures than multifurcating trees to represent evolutionary histories. For example, certain viruses/plants/bacteria are known to exhibit recombination/hybridization/gene transfer, and this process might not always be best represented by a tree. In particular, a tree implicitly assumes that once two lineages are created they subsequently never interact with one another later on. However, if it is assumed that such interactions might have occurred, then a simplistic representation of this might look something like the network (or labeled-graph) presented in Fig. 21.1.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Phylogenetic Handbook
  • Online ISBN: 9780511819049
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *