Last update: Mar 15, 2021, Contributors: Minh Bui
It is important to know that phylogenetic models rely on various simplifying assumptions to ease computations. If your data severely violate these assumptions, it might cause bias in phylogenetic estimates of tree topologies and other model parameters. Some common assumptions include treelikeness (all sites in the alignment have evolved under the same tree), stationarity (nucleotide/amino-acid frequencies remain constant over time), reversibility (substitutions are equally likely in both directions), and homogeneity (substitution rates remain constant over time).
This document shows several ways to check some of these assumptions that you should perform before doing phylogenetic analysis.
IQ-TREE provides three matched-pairs tests of symmetry (Naser-Khdour et al., 2019) to test the two assumptions of stationarity and homogeneity. A simple analysis:
iqtree2 -s example.phy -p example.nex --symtest-only
will perform the three tests of symmetry on every partition of the alignment and print the result into a
--symtest-only option tells IQ-TREE to only perform the tests of symmetry and then exit. In this example the content of
example.nex.symtest.csv looks like this:
# Matched-pair tests of symmetry # This file can be read in MS Excel or in R with command: # dat=read.csv('example.nex.symtest.csv',comment.char='#') # Columns are comma-separated with following meanings: # Name: Partition name # SymSig: Number of significant sequence pairs by test of symmetry # SymNon: Number of non-significant sequence pairs by test of symmetry # SymPval: P-value for maximum test of symmetry # MarSig: Number of significant sequence pairs by test of marginal symmetry # MarNon: Number of non-significant sequence pairs by test of marginal symmetry # MarPval: P-value for maximum test of marginal symmetry # IntSig: Number of significant sequence pairs by test of internal symmetry # IntNon: Number of non-significant sequence pairs by test of internal symmetry # IntPval: P-value for maximum test of internal symmetry Name,SymSig,SymNon,SymPval,MarSig,MarNon,MarPval,IntSig,IntNon,IntPval part1,44,92,0.475639,50,86,0.722371,4,132,0.23869 part2,43,93,0.142052,49,87,0.205232,5,131,0.169618 part3,53,83,0.00499855,58,78,0.00164132,6,130,0.343127
The three important columns are:
part3does not comply with these two assumptions (p-value = 0.00499855), whereas the other two partitions are “good”.
part3does not comply with the stationary condition (p-value = 0.00164132).
This little example shows that only
part3 is problematic by not complying with the stationary assumption.
Now you may want to perform the phylogenetic analysis excluding all “bad” partitions by:
iqtree2 -s example.phy -p example.nex --symtest-remove-bad
that will remove all “bad” partitions where SymPval < 0.05 and continue the analysis with the remaining “good” partitions. You may then compare the trees from “all” partitions and from “good” only partitions to see if there is significant difference between them with tree topology tests.
Other options can be seen when running
TEST OF SYMMETRY: --symtest Perform three tests of symmetry --symtest-only Do --symtest then exist --symtest-remove-bad Do --symtest and remove bad partitions --symtest-remove-good Do --symtest and remove good partitions --symtest-type MAR|INT Use MARginal/INTernal test when removing partitions --symtest-pval NUMER P-value cutoff (default: 0.05) --symtest-keep-zero Keep NAs in the tests
Likelihood mapping (Strimmer and von Haeseler, 1997) is a visualisation method to display the phylogenetic information of an alignment. It visualises the treelikeness of all quartets in a single triangular graph and therefore renders a quick interpretation of the phylogenetic content.
A simple likelihood mapping analysis can be conducted with:
iqtree -s example.phy -lmap 2000 -n 0
-lmap option specify the number of quartets of taxa that will be drawn randomly from the alignment.
-n 0 tells IQ-TREE to stop the analysis right after running the likelihood mapping. IQ-TREE will print the result in the
.iqtree report file as well as the likelihood mapping plot
.lmap.svg (in SVG format) and
.lmap.eps file (in EPS figure format).
You can now view the likelihood mapping plot file
example.phy.lmap.svg, which looks like this:
It shows phylogenetic information of the alignment
The meanings can also be found in the
LIKELIHOOD MAPPING STATISTICS section of the report file
LIKELIHOOD MAPPING STATISTICS ----------------------------- (a,b)-(c,d) (a,b)-(c,d) /\ /\ / \ / \ / \ / 1 \ / a1 \ / \ / \ /\ /\ / \/ \ / \ / \ / /\ \ / \ / \ / 6 / \ 4 \ / \/ \ /\ / 7 \ /\ / | \ / \ /______\ / \ / a3 | a2 \ / 3 | 5 | 2 \ /__________|_________\ /_____|________|_____\ (a,d)-(b,c) (a,c)-(b,d) (a,d)-(b,c) (a,c)-(b,d) Division of the likelihood mapping plots into 3 or 7 areas. On the left the areas show support for one of the different groupings like (a,b|c,d). On the right the right quartets falling into the areas 1, 2 and 3 are informative. Those in the rectangles 4, 5 and 6 are partly informative and those in the center (7) are not informative. .....
The command reference will provide more options and how to perform 2-, 3-, or 4-cluster likelihood mapping analysis.