CHAPTER 11Molecular Phylogenetics


The theory of evolution entails that changes in traits in populations occur over time through natural selection, genetic drift, or both. At some point we say that a speciation event occurs, which means that a new species arises in a population. For the most part, this happens at some fuzzy point in time when the set of members of the species breaks into two subsets such that the members of one subset cannot mate with the members of the other. We try to reconstruct the history of these events with a phylogenetic tree. Each internal node in the tree is called a taxonomic unit. External nodes (leaves) represent ...

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