Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 300–304 | Cite as

Estimating errors and confidence intervals for branch lengths in phylogenetic trees by a bootstrap approach

  • Joaquin Dopazo


A method, based on the bootstrap procedure, is proposed for the estimation of branch-length errors and confidence intervals in a phylogenetic tree for which equal rates of substitution among lineages do not necessarily hold. The method can be used to test whether an estimated internodal distance is significantly greater than zero. In the application of the method, any estimator of genetic distances, as well as any tree reconstruction procedure (based on distance matrices), can be used. Also the method is not limited by the number of species involved in the phylogenetic tree. An example of the application of the method in the reconstruction of the phylogenetic tree for the four hominoid species—human, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan—is shown.

Key words

Bootstrap Standard error of branch lengths Confidence intervals of branch lengths Phylogeny Least-squares method Unequal rates 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joaquin Dopazo
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en Sanidad AnimalINIAMadridSpain

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