Current trends in phylogenetics are leading towards ever more complex methods. Our aim with Anâtaxis is to provide a simple and computationally efficient method capable of handling very large data-sets. Many modern phylogenetic methods employ heuristic search algorithms and can therefore be seeded with the results from Anâtaxis.

Anâtaxis is not itself based on an explicit model of evolution, but rather attempts to solve the following problems of phylogenetic tree reconstruction in a pragmatic manner:

  • Disparate rates of evolution. While species and proteins are constantly evolving they do not all do so at a the same rate (e.g. procaryotes vs. eucaryotes or active sites vs. loops in proteins). Neither is this rate constant over time (e.g. the Cambrian explosion). Mutation rates, selective pressure, efficiency of DNA-repair mechanisms and many more factors may influence the apparent rate of evolution.
  • Homoplasy is the occurrence of similarities between taxons (species or genes/proteins being studied) which are not due to common ancestry. Homoplasy can occur either through chance or through adaptation to similar selective pressures.

People involved

  • Bernhard Sonderegger, (contact person)
  • Dr. Gabriel Bittar