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Combined-evidence analyses of ultraconserved elements and morphological data: an empirical example in iguanian lizards

Citation

Scarpetta, Simon (2020), Combined-evidence analyses of ultraconserved elements and morphological data: an empirical example in iguanian lizards, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1zcrjdfq4

Abstract

Genomic datasets generated by next-generation sequencing are increasingly prevalent in phylogenetics, but morphological data are required to phylogenetically place fossils, corroborate molecular hypotheses, and date phylogenies. Combined-evidence analyses provide an integrative assessment of tree topology. However, no attempt has been made to simultaneously analyze next-generation genomic datasets and morphological data, and the future of morphology in the context of genomic data is uncertain. I conducted combined-evidence analyses that include genomic and morphological datasets, specifically, with ultraconserved elements and two morphological matrices. In unweighted maximum likelihood and Bayesian combined-evidence analyses, morphological signal was dwarfed by the ultraconserved elements, and some node support values were reduced relative to ultraconserved element-only analyses. Increasing the weight of morphological characters allowed those data to influence the tree, but weighting subjectivity should be considered in future analyses. More attempts should be made to simultaneously analyze genomic and morphological datasets.