Applications of next-generation sequencing to phylogeography and phylogenetics
This is a time of unprecedented transition in DNA sequencing technologies. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) clearly holds promise for fast and cost-effective generation of multilocus sequence data for phylogeography and phylogenetics. However, the focus on non-model organisms, in addition to uncertainty about which sample preparation methods and analyses are appropriate for different research questions and evolutionary timescales, have contributed to a lag in the application of NGS to these fields. Here, we outline some of the major obstacles specific to the application of NGS to phylogeography and phylogenetics, including the focus on non-model organisms, the necessity of obtaining orthologous loci in a cost-effective manner, and the predominate use of gene trees in these fields. We describe the most promising methods of sample preparation that address these challenges. Methods that reduce the genome by restriction digest and manual size selection are most appropriate for studies at the intraspecific level, whereas methods that target specific genomic regions (i.e., target enrichment or sequence capture) have wider applicability from the population level to deep-level phylogenomics. Additionally, we give an overview of how to analyze NGS data to arrive at data sets applicable to the standard toolkit of phylogeography and phylogenetics, including initial data processing to alignment and genotype calling (both SNPs and loci involving many SNPs). Even though whole-genome sequencing is likely to become affordable rather soon, because phylogeography and phylogenetics rely on analysis of hundreds of individuals in many cases, methods that reduce the genome to a subset of loci should remain more cost-effective for some time to come. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.