Reconstructibility of unrooted level-k phylogenetic networks from distances

Leo van Iersel, Vincent Moulton, Yuki Murakami

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A phylogenetic network is a graph-theoretical tool that is used by biologists to represent the evolutionary history of a collection of species. One potential way of constructing such networks is via a distance-based approach, where one is asked to find a phylogenetic network that in some way represents a given distance matrix, which gives information on the evolutionary distances between present-day taxa. Here, we consider the following question. For which k are unrooted level-k networks uniquely determined by their distance matrices? We consider this question for shortest distances as well as for the case that the multisets of all distances is given. We prove that level-1 networks and level-2 networks are reconstructible from their shortest distances and multisets of distances, respectively. Furthermore we show that, in general, networks of level higher than 1 are not reconstructible from shortest distances and that networks of level higher than 2 are not reconstructible from their multisets of distances.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102075
JournalAdvances in Applied Mathematics
Early online date3 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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