Data from: Analysis of a rapid evolutionary radiation using ultraconserved elements (UCEs): Evidence for a bias in some multi-species coalescent methods
Meiklejohn, Kelly A. et al. (2016), Data from: Analysis of a rapid evolutionary radiation using ultraconserved elements (UCEs): Evidence for a bias in some multi-species coalescent methods, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p1m52
Rapid evolutionary radiations are expected to require large amounts of sequence data to resolve. To resolve these types of relationships many systematists believe that it will be necessary to collect data by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and use multispecies coalescent (“species tree”) methods. Ultraconserved element (UCE) sequence capture is becoming a popular method to leverage the high throughput of NGS to address problems in vertebrate phylogenetics. Here we examine the performance of UCE data for gallopheasants (true pheasants and allies), a clade that underwent a rapid radiation 10–15 Ma. Relationships among gallopheasant genera have been difficult to establish. We used this rapid radiation to assess the performance of species tree methods, using ∼600 kilobases of DNA sequence data from ∼1500 UCEs. We also integrated information from traditional markers (nuclear intron data from 15 loci and three mitochondrial gene regions). Species tree methods exhibited troubling behavior. Two methods [Maximum Pseudolikelihood for Estimating Species Trees (MP-EST) and Accurate Species TRee ALgorithm (ASTRAL)] appeared to perform optimally when the set of input gene trees was limited to the most variable UCEs, though ASTRAL appeared to be more robust than MP-EST to input trees generated using less variable UCEs. In contrast, the rooted triplet consensus method implemented in Triplec performed better when the largest set of input gene trees was used. We also found that all three species tree methods exhibited a surprising degree of dependence on the program used to estimate input gene trees, suggesting that the details of likelihood calculations (e.g., numerical optimization) are important for loci with limited phylogenetic information. As an alternative to summary species tree methods we explored the performance of SuperMatrix Rooted Triple - Maximum Likelihood (SMRT-ML), a concatenation method that is consistent even when gene trees exhibit topological differences due to the multispecies coalescent. We found that SMRT-ML performed well for UCE data. Our results suggest that UCE data have excellent prospects for the resolution of difficult evolutionary radiations, though specific attention may need to be given to the details of the methods used to estimate species trees.