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Tanglegrams for rooted phylogenetic trees and networks

Celine Scornavacca
Franziska Zickmann
Daniel Hudson

Motivation: In systematic biology, one is often faced with the task of comparing different phylogenetic trees, in particular in multigene analysis or cospeciation studies. One approach is to use a tanglegram in which two rooted phylogenetic trees are drawn opposite each other, using auxiliary lines to connect matching taxa. There is an increasing interest in using rooted phylogenetic networks to represent evolutionary history, so as to explicitly represent reticulate events, such as horizontal gene transfer, hybridization or reassortment. Thus, the question arises how to define and compute a tanglegram for such networks. Results: In this article, we present the first formal definition of a tanglegram for rooted phylogenetic networks and present a heuristic approach for computing one, called the NN-tanglegram method.
We compare the performance of our method with existing tree tanglegram algorithms and also show a typical application to real biological datasets. For maximum usability, the algorithm does not require that the trees or networks are bifurcating or bicombining, or that they are on identical taxon sets. Availability: The algorithm is implemented in our program Dendroscope 3, which is freely available from www.dendroscope.org.

Release Date:
January, 2016
Data type:
2D, Network / hierarchy graph, Multiple network / hierarchy
IOS, Linux, Mac OSX
Windows, Mac OS X, Unix

Project development

Institution: Center for Bioinformatics (ZBIT), Tübingen University, Sand 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; ; Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution Montpellier (ISEM), CNRS UMR 5554, Université Montpellier II, Montpellier, France