Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 919–944 | Cite as

Unique Reconstruction of Tree-Like Phylogenetic Networks from Distances Between Leaves

  • Stephen J. WillsonEmail author
Original Paper


In this paper, a class of rooted acyclic directed graphs (called TOM-networks) is defined that generalizes rooted trees and allows for models including hybridization events. It is argued that the defining properties are biologically plausible. Each TOM-network has a distance defined between each pair of vertices. For a TOM-network N, suppose that the set X consisting of the leaves and the root is known, together with the distances between members of X. It is proved that N is uniquely determined from this information and can be reconstructed in polynomial time. Thus, given exact distance information on the leaves and root, the phylogenetic network can be uniquely recovered, provided that it is a TOM-network. An outgroup can be used instead of a true root.


Phylogeny Network Phylogenetic network 


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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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