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      RAxML version 8: a tool for phylogenetic analysis and post-analysis of large phylogenies

      , 1 , 2

      Bioinformatics

      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Motivation: Phylogenies are increasingly used in all fields of medical and biological research. Moreover, because of the next-generation sequencing revolution, datasets used for conducting phylogenetic analyses grow at an unprecedented pace. RAxML (Randomized Axelerated Maximum Likelihood) is a popular program for phylogenetic analyses of large datasets under maximum likelihood. Since the last RAxML paper in 2006, it has been continuously maintained and extended to accommodate the increasingly growing input datasets and to serve the needs of the user community.

          Results: I present some of the most notable new features and extensions of RAxML, such as a substantial extension of substitution models and supported data types, the introduction of SSE3, AVX and AVX2 vector intrinsics, techniques for reducing the memory requirements of the code and a plethora of operations for conducting post-analyses on sets of trees. In addition, an up-to-date 50-page user manual covering all new RAxML options is available.

          Availability and implementation: The code is available under GNU GPL at https://github.com/stamatak/standard-RAxML.

          Contact: alexandros.stamatakis@ 123456h-its.org

          Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Inferring ancient divergences requires genes with strong phylogenetic signals.

          To tackle incongruence, the topological conflict between different gene trees, phylogenomic studies couple concatenation with practices such as rogue taxon removal or the use of slowly evolving genes. Phylogenomic analysis of 1,070 orthologues from 23 yeast genomes identified 1,070 distinct gene trees, which were all incongruent with the phylogeny inferred from concatenation. Incongruence severity increased for shorter internodes located deeper in the phylogeny. Notably, whereas most practices had little or negative impact on the yeast phylogeny, the use of genes or internodes with high average internode support significantly improved the robustness of inference. We obtained similar results in analyses of vertebrate and metazoan phylogenomic data sets. These results question the exclusive reliance on concatenation and associated practices, and argue that selecting genes with strong phylogenetic signals and demonstrating the absence of significant incongruence are essential for accurately reconstructing ancient divergences.
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            How many bootstrap replicates are necessary?

            Phylogenetic bootstrapping (BS) is a standard technique for inferring confidence values on phylogenetic trees that is based on reconstructing many trees from minor variations of the input data, trees called replicates. BS is used with all phylogenetic reconstruction approaches, but we focus here on one of the most popular, maximum likelihood (ML). Because ML inference is so computationally demanding, it has proved too expensive to date to assess the impact of the number of replicates used in BS on the relative accuracy of the support values. For the same reason, a rather small number (typically 100) of BS replicates are computed in real-world studies. Stamatakis et al. recently introduced a BS algorithm that is 1 to 2 orders of magnitude faster than previous techniques, while yielding qualitatively comparable support values, making an experimental study possible. In this article, we propose stopping criteria--that is, thresholds computed at runtime to determine when enough replicates have been generated--and we report on the first large-scale experimental study to assess the effect of the number of replicates on the quality of support values, including the performance of our proposed criteria. We run our tests on 17 diverse real-world DNA--single-gene as well as multi-gene--datasets, which include 125-2,554 taxa. We find that our stopping criteria typically stop computations after 100-500 replicates (although the most conservative criterion may continue for several thousand replicates) while producing support values that correlate at better than 99.5% with the reference values on the best ML trees. Significantly, we also find that the stopping criteria can recommend very different numbers of replicates for different datasets of comparable sizes. Our results are thus twofold: (i) they give the first experimental assessment of the effect of the number of BS replicates on the quality of support values returned through BS, and (ii) they validate our proposals for stopping criteria. Practitioners will no longer have to enter a guess nor worry about the quality of support values; moreover, with most counts of replicates in the 100-500 range, robust BS under ML inference becomes computationally practical for most datasets. The complete test suite is available at http://lcbb.epfl.ch/BS.tar.bz2, and BS with our stopping criteria is included in the latest release of RAxML v7.2.5, available at http://wwwkramer.in.tum.de/exelixis/software.html.
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              Performance, Accuracy, and Web Server for Evolutionary Placement of Short Sequence Reads under Maximum Likelihood

              We present an evolutionary placement algorithm (EPA) and a Web server for the rapid assignment of sequence fragments (short reads) to edges of a given phylogenetic tree under the maximum-likelihood model. The accuracy of the algorithm is evaluated on several real-world data sets and compared with placement by pair-wise sequence comparison, using edit distances and BLAST. We introduce a slow and accurate as well as a fast and less accurate placement algorithm. For the slow algorithm, we develop additional heuristic techniques that yield almost the same run times as the fast version with only a small loss of accuracy. When those additional heuristics are employed, the run time of the more accurate algorithm is comparable with that of a simple BLAST search for data sets with a high number of short query sequences. Moreover, the accuracy of the EPA is significantly higher, in particular when the sample of taxa in the reference topology is sparse or inadequate. Our algorithm, which has been integrated into RAxML, therefore provides an equally fast but more accurate alternative to BLAST for tree-based inference of the evolutionary origin and composition of short sequence reads. We are also actively developing a Web server that offers a freely available service for computing read placements on trees using the EPA.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Bioinformatics
                Bioinformatics
                bioinformatics
                bioinfo
                Bioinformatics
                Oxford University Press
                1367-4803
                1367-4811
                1 May 2014
                21 January 2014
                21 January 2014
                : 30
                : 9
                : 1312-1313
                Affiliations
                1Scientific Computing Group, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, 69118 Heidelberg and 2Department of Informatics, Institute of Theoretical Informatics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
                Author notes

                Associate Editor: Jonathan Wren

                Article
                btu033
                10.1093/bioinformatics/btu033
                3998144
                24451623
                © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com

                Page count
                Pages: 2
                Categories
                Applications Notes
                Phylogenetics

                Bioinformatics & Computational biology

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