Improving Phylogenetic Signals of Mitochondrial Genes Using a New Method of Codon Degeneration

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Title: Improving Phylogenetic Signals of Mitochondrial Genes Using a New Method of Codon Degeneration
Authors: Xia, Xuhua
Date: 2020
Abstract: Recovering deep phylogeny is challenging with animal mitochondrial genes because of their rapid evolution. Codon degeneration decreases the phylogenetic noise and bias by aiming to achieve two objectives: (1) alleviate the bias associated with nucleotide composition, which may lead to homoplasy and long-branch attraction, and (2) reduce differences in the phylogenetic results between nucleotide-based and amino acid (AA)-based analyses. The discrepancy between nucleotide-based analysis and AA-based analysis is partially caused by some synonymous codons that differ more from each other at the nucleotide level than from some nonsynonymous codons, e.g., Leu codon TTR in the standard genetic code is more similar to Phe codon TTY than to synonymous CTN codons. Thus, nucleotide similarity conflicts with AA similarity. There are many such examples involving other codon families in various mitochondrial genetic codes. Proper codon degeneration will make synonymous codons more similar to each other at the nucleotide level than they are to nonsynonymous codons. Here, I illustrate a "principled" codon degeneration method that achieves these objectives. The method was applied to resolving the mammalian basal lineage and phylogenetic position of rheas among ratites. The codon degeneration method was implemented in the user-friendly and freely available DAMBE software for all known genetic codes (genetic codes 1 to 33).
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41786
DOI: 10.3390/life10090171
CollectionBiologie // Biology
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