Computing consensus networks for collections of 1-nested phylogenetic networks

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An important and well-studied problem in phylogenetics is to compute a consensus tree so as to summarize the common features within a collection of rooted phylogenetic trees, all whose leaf-sets are bijectively labeled by the same set X of species. More recently, however, it has become of interest to find a consensus for a collection of more general, rooted directed acyclic graphs all of whose sink-sets are bijectively labeled by X, so called rooted phylogenetic networks. These networks are used to analyze the evolution of species that cross with one another, such as plants and viruses. In this paper, we introduce an algorithm for computing a consensus for a collection of so-called 1-nested phylogenetic networks. Our approach builds on a previous result by Roselló et al. that describes an encoding for any 1-nested phylogenetic network in terms of a collection of ordered pairs of subsets of X. More specifically, we characterize those collections of ordered pairs that arise as the encoding of some 1-nested phylogenetic network, and then use this characterization to compute a consensus network for a collection of t ≥ 1 1-nested networks in O(t|X| 2 + |X| 3) time. Applying our algorithm to a collection of phylogenetic trees yields the well-known majority rule consensus tree. Our approach leads to several new directions for future work, and we expect that it should provide a useful new tool to help understand complex evolutionary scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-563
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Graph Algorithms and Applications
Issue number7
Early online date8 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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