A maximum likelihood approach to the detection of selection from a phylogeny
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A large amount of information is contained within the phylogenetic relationships between species. In addition to their branching patterns it is also possible to examine other aspects of the biology of the species. The influence that deleterious selection might have is determined here. The likelihood of different phylogenies in the presence of selection is explored to determine the properties of such a likelihood surface. The calculation of likelihoods for a phylogeny in the presence and absence of selection, permits the application of a likelihood ratio test to search for selection. It is shown that even a single selected site can have a strong effect on the likelihood. The method is illustrated with an example from Drosophila melanogaster and suggests that deleterious selection may be acting on transposable elements.
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