Video Tip of the Week: JANE, comparing phylogenies


Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
When I was doing my Ph.D. in the ancient days of the Sanger Method sequencing and reading in the results with one hand on the keyboard and reading the GATCs on the read (and going to the lab in the snow uphill both ways), my purpose for slogging  through all that was to eventually get a phylogeny of the sequences of the retrotransposable elements I was studying. Why did I want that phylogeny? Because I was comparing the phylogeny of the retroelements to that of the species in which they reside. We were attempting to determine if these retroelements were stable within the taxa lineage (they are) or there was promiscuous horizontal transfer occurring. We did those comparisons, but it would have been nice to have a ‘cophylogeny reconstruction’ program :D. There are often times similar comparisons of phylogenies are necessary. Host-parasite studies, coevolution, etc. Jane is a software package (free with registration) that uses a heuristic approach, “running a genetic algorithm with an internal fitness function that is evaluated using a dynamic programming algorithm.” It can often give an optimal solution for that cophylogeny you are studying. Jane was developed in the research group of  Ran Libeskind-Hadas at Harvey Mudd College and you can  read more about the algorithm and approach here. They also have an extensive written tutorial. In these tips we usually focus on web-interface to tools, but I liked this package (and it’s free) and wanted to play around with it, so today I’ll walk you through a very quick intro to downloading and getting started with the tool. Quick Links: Jane Jane Tutorial CoPhylogeny Reconstruction TreeMap (another cophylogeny reconstruction software) CopyCat (yet another) Book Chapter on Cophylogeny and reconstruction Conow, C., Fielder, D., Ovadia, Y., & Libeskind-Hadas, R. (2010). Jane: a new tool for the cophylogeny reconstruction problem Algorithms for Molecular Biology, 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1748-7188-5-16