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Data from: Elevated substitution rate estimates from ancient DNA: model violation and bias of Bayesian methods

Citation

Navascués, Miguel; Emerson, Brent (2010), Data from: Elevated substitution rate estimates from ancient DNA: model violation and bias of Bayesian methods, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1355

Abstract

The increasing ability to extract and sequence DNA from non-contemporaneous tissue offers biologists the opportunity to analyze ancient DNA (aDNA) together with modern DNA (mDNA) to address the taxonomy of extinct species, evolutionary origins, historical phylogeography and biogeography. Perhaps more exciting are recent developments in coalescence-based Bayesian inference that offer the potential to use temporal information from aDNA and mDNA for the estimation of substitution rates and divergence dates as an alternative to fossil and geological calibration. This comes at a time of growing interest in the possibility of time dependency for molecular rate estimates. Here we provide a critical assessment of Bayesian MCMC analysis for the estimation of substitution rate using simulated samples of aDNA and mDNA. We conclude that the current models and priors employed in Bayesian MCMC analysis of heterochronous mtDNA are susceptible to an upward bias in the estimation of substitution rates due to model misspecification when the data comes from populations with less than simple demographic histories, including sudden short-lived population bottlenecks or pronounced population structure. However when model misspecification is only mild, then the 95% HPD intervals provide adequate frequentist coverage of the true rates.

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