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In order to study the effect of mutation rate heterogeneity on patterns of DNA polymorphism, we simulated samples of DNA sequences with gamma-distributed nucleotide substitution rates in stationary and expanding populations. We find that recent population expansions and mutation rate heterogeneity have similar effects on several polymorphism indicators,(More)
Multicellular animals, or Metazoa, appear in the fossil records between 575 and 509 million years ago (MYA). At odds with paleontological evidence, molecular estimates of basal metazoan divergences have been consistently older than 700 MYA. However, those date estimates were based on the molecular clock hypothesis, which is almost always violated. To relax(More)
The molecular clock, i.e., constancy of the rate of evolution over time, is commonly assumed in estimating divergence dates. However, this assumption is often violated and has drastic effects on date estimation. Recently, a number of attempts have been made to relax the clock assumption. One approach is to use maximum likelihood, which assigns rates to(More)
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a phylogenetically conserved serine/threonine protein kinase, is proposed to function as a "fuel gauge" to monitor cellular energy status in response to nutritional environmental variations. However, in fish, few studies have addressed the metabolic consequences related to the activation of this kinase. This study(More)
Several tests of molecular phylogenies have been proposed over the last decades, but most of them lead to strikingly different P-values. I propose that such discrepancies are principally due to different forms of null hypotheses. To support this hypothesis, two new tests are described. Both consider the composite null hypothesis that all the topologies are(More)
The current paradigm holds that cyanobacteria, which evolved oxygenic photosynthesis more than 2 billion years ago, are still the major light harvesters driving primary productivity in open oceans. Here we show that tiny unicellular eukaryotes belonging to the photosynthetic lineage of the Haptophyta are dramatically diverse and ecologically dominant in the(More)
MOTIVATION The desire to compare molecular phylogenies has stimulated the design of numerous tests. Most of these tests are formulated in a frequentist framework, and it is not known how they compare with Bayes procedures. I propose here two new Bayes tests that either compare pairs of trees (Bayes hypothesis test, BHT), or test each tree against an average(More)
To explain why informational genes (i.e., those involved in transcription, translation, and related processes) are less likely than housekeeping genes to be horizontally transferred, Jain and coworkers proposed the complexity hypothesis. The underlying idea is that informational genes belong to large, complex systems of coevolving genes. Consequently, the(More)
Phylogenetic analysis of a collection of rabies viruses that currently circulate in Canadian big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) identified five distinct lineages which have emerged from a common ancestor that existed over 400 years ago. Four of these lineages are regionally restricted in their range while the fifth lineage, comprising two-thirds of all(More)
Mercury (Hg) is an anthropogenic pollutant that is toxic to wildlife and humans, but the response of remote ecosystems to globally distributed Hg is elusive. Here, we use DNA extracted from a dated sediment core to infer the response of microbes to historical Hg delivery. We observe a significant association between the mercuric reductase gene (merA)(More)