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      MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 6.0

      , , , ,

      Molecular Biology and Evolution

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          We announce the release of an advanced version of the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software, which currently contains facilities for building sequence alignments, inferring phylogenetic histories, and conducting molecular evolutionary analysis. In version 6.0, MEGA now enables the inference of timetrees, as it implements the RelTime method for estimating divergence times for all branching points in a phylogeny. A new Timetree Wizard in MEGA6 facilitates this timetree inference by providing a graphical user interface (GUI) to specify the phylogeny and calibration constraints step-by-step. This version also contains enhanced algorithms to search for the optimal trees under evolutionary criteria and implements a more advanced memory management that can double the size of sequence data sets to which MEGA can be applied. Both GUI and command-line versions of MEGA6 can be downloaded from www.megasoftware.net free of charge.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Estimating divergence times in large molecular phylogenies.

          Molecular dating of species divergences has become an important means to add a temporal dimension to the Tree of Life. Increasingly larger datasets encompassing greater taxonomic diversity are becoming available to generate molecular timetrees by using sophisticated methods that model rate variation among lineages. However, the practical application of these methods is challenging because of the exorbitant calculation times required by current methods for contemporary data sizes, the difficulty in correctly modeling the rate heterogeneity in highly diverse taxonomic groups, and the lack of reliable clock calibrations and their uncertainty distributions for most groups of species. Here, we present a method that estimates relative times of divergences for all branching points (nodes) in very large phylogenetic trees without assuming a specific model for lineage rate variation or specifying any clock calibrations. The method (RelTime) performed better than existing methods when applied to very large computer simulated datasets where evolutionary rates were varied extensively among lineages by following autocorrelated and uncorrelated models. On average, RelTime completed calculations 1,000 times faster than the fastest Bayesian method, with even greater speed difference for larger number of sequences. This speed and accuracy will enable molecular dating analysis of very large datasets. Relative time estimates will be useful for determining the relative ordering and spacing of speciation events, identifying lineages with significantly slower or faster evolutionary rates, diagnosing the effect of selected calibrations on absolute divergence times, and estimating absolute times of divergence when highly reliable calibration points are available.
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            MEGA-CC: computing core of molecular evolutionary genetics analysis program for automated and iterative data analysis.

            There is a growing need in the research community to apply the molecular evolutionary genetics analysis (MEGA) software tool for batch processing a large number of datasets and to integrate it into analysis workflows. Therefore, we now make available the computing core of the MEGA software as a stand-alone executable (MEGA-CC), along with an analysis prototyper (MEGA-Proto). MEGA-CC provides users with access to all the computational analyses available through MEGA's graphical user interface version. This includes methods for multiple sequence alignment, substitution model selection, evolutionary distance estimation, phylogeny inference, substitution rate and pattern estimation, tests of natural selection and ancestral sequence inference. Additionally, we have upgraded the source code for phylogenetic analysis using the maximum likelihood methods for parallel execution on multiple processors and cores. Here, we describe MEGA-CC and outline the steps for using MEGA-CC in tandem with MEGA-Proto for iterative and automated data analysis. http://www.megasoftware.net/.
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              TimeTree2: species divergence times on the iPhone.

              Scientists, educators and the general public often need to know times of divergence between species. But they rarely can locate that information because it is buried in the scientific literature, usually in a format that is inaccessible to text search engines. We have developed a public knowledgebase that enables data-driven access to the collection of peer-reviewed publications in molecular evolution and phylogenetics that have reported estimates of time of divergence between species. Users can query the TimeTree resource by providing two names of organisms (common or scientific) that can correspond to species or groups of species. The current TimeTree web resource (TimeTree2) contains timetrees reported from molecular clock analyses in 910 published studies and 17 341 species that span the diversity of life. TimeTree2 interprets complex and hierarchical data from these studies for each user query, which can be launched using an iPhone application, in addition to the website. Published time estimates are now readily accessible to the scientific community, K-12 and college educators, and the general public, without requiring knowledge of evolutionary nomenclature. TimeTree2 is accessible from the URL http://www.timetree.org, with an iPhone app available from iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/timetree/id372842500?mt=8) and a YouTube tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxmshZQciwo).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Molecular Biology and Evolution
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1537-1719
                0737-4038
                December 2013
                December 01 2013
                October 16 2013
                December 2013
                December 01 2013
                October 16 2013
                : 30
                : 12
                : 2725-2729
                Article
                10.1093/molbev/mst197
                3840312
                24132122
                © 2013

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