Target-capture phylogenomics provide insights on gene and species tree discordances in Old World treefrogs (Anura: Rhacophoridae)
Genome-scale data have greatly facilitated the resolution of recalcitrant nodes that Sanger-based datasets have been unable to resolve. However, phylogenomic studies continue to use traditional methods such as bootstrapping to estimate branch support; and high bootstrap values are still interpreted as providing strong support for the correct topology. Furthermore, relatively little attention has been given to assessing discordances between gene and species trees, and the underlying processes that produce phylogenetic conflict. We generated novel genomic datasets to characterize and determine the causes of discordance in Old World treefrogs (Family: Rhacophoridae)-a group that is fraught with conflicting and poorly supported topologies among major clades. Additionally, a suite of data filtering strategies and analytical methods were applied to assess their impact on phylogenetic inference. We showed that incomplete lineage sorting was detected at all nodes that exhibited high levels of discordance. Those nodes were also associated with extremely short internal branches. We also clearly demonstrate that bootstrap values do not reflect uncertainty or confidence for the correct topology and, hence, should not be used as a measure of branch support in phylogenomic datasets. Overall, we showed that phylogenetic discordances in Old World treefrogs resulted from incomplete lineage sorting and that species tree inference can be improved using a multi-faceted, total-evidence approach, which uses the most amount of data and considers results from different analytical methods and datasets.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Proceedings. Biological sciences
Chan, K. O., Hutter, C. R., Wood, P. L., Grismer, L. L., & Brown, R. M. (2020). Target-capture phylogenomics provide insights on gene and species tree discordances in Old World treefrogs (Anura: Rhacophoridae). Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287 (1940), 20202102. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2102