Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 6, pp 1398–1411 | Cite as

On the Number of Binary Characters Needed to Recover a Phylogeny Using Maximum Parsimony

Original Article

Abstract

We give an explicit construction to solve a conjecture of Mike Steel and David Penny that any phylogeny involving N taxa can be recovered unambiguously using on the order of log N binary characters and the method of maximum parsimony. Biologically, this means that homoplasy need not be a deterrent to parsimony methods. Some patterns of homoplasy are phylogenetically informative and can exponentially reduce the amount of data needed to resolve a phylogeny.

Keywords

Phylogeny Maximum parsimony Binary characters Homoplasy One-clustering 

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References

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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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