Glossary of terms used in Phylogeny Reconstruction.



Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein, University of Washington invented the Bootstrap resampling procedure, made the observation that parsimony could be inconsistent when long and short branches were present on a tree and also constributed to the popularisation of ML methods for phylogeny reconstruction.  He has also been the principal author of the PHYLIP package.

Felsenstein Zone This is the phenomenon of 'long branch attraction'.  If a dataset has some taxa that have long branches leading to the terminal tips (leaves), and some other branches (both external and internal) that are short, then the long branches will attract each other and appear as sister taxa on the tree, even if they do not share recentness of common ancestry.  Felsenstein identified this phenomenon as a deficiency of the  Maximum Parsimony method of phylogeny reconstruction, although it is known that all methods can be misleading in such circumstances.  The problem with the felsenstein zone is that as more and more data is collected, confidence in the incorrect relationships becomes stronger.  This is one of a number of systematic biases.

Fitch (1) Walter Fitch, evolutionary biologist responsible for defining the fitch character type, which is an unordered, non-additive character type, with equal costs for all changes.  It is a suitable character type for both molecules and morphology.  This was later generalised by David Sankoff to allow unequal costs for changes.  (2) The name of a program in the PHYLIP package.

Choose the first letter of your term.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Any Questions? email: James Mcinerney