Primer on Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics


More than 30 years ago, Theodosius Dobzhansky claimed: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". Currently, the simplest bioinformatics analysis uses species comparisons in order to make a hypothesis about the function of a novel biological sequence. Moreover, in most molecular biology labs, evolutionary and phylogenetic concepts are constantly being used with more or less formality: homology, similarity, evolutionary rates, long branch attraction, rooted and unrooted trees, monophyletic group, molecular clocks, lineage effects, neutralism, cladograms, phylograms, etc.

The course covers these and other major concepts in evolutionary biology and phylogenetics. Attendees will acquire specific skills in using the methodology in comparative and evolutionary biology problems. The course is designed to be a mixture of theoretical and practical sessions developed in 3 days, where both classic and recently introduced methods for phylogenetic reconstruction will be covered.

Phyml, Phylip, MEGA, MrBayes and Modeltest-Protest are some of the software resources that will be used in the practical sessions. Elementary knowledge of biochemistry and sequence analysis is useful though not strictly required.


The School bioinformatics service provides software including Phylip, MrBayes, Molphy, phyml, PAUP, modeltest, quicktree, R packages ape and ouch, and Tree-Puzzle. IQPNNI, Phylobayes and RAxML have been implemented on the cluster/CamG 

Mon, 11/01/2010 (All day) - Wed, 13/01/2010 (All day)
Graduate School of Life Sciences. University of Cambridge. UK