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Microcomputers and Phylogenetic Analysis

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Science  28 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4780, pp. 1135-1139
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4780.1135


The programs discussed above show how microcomputers have added to the arsenal of systematic biologists. This is a rapidly developing field, and there are no doubt major changes on the horizon. Swofford is working on a new version of PAUP that will have some of the interactive features of MacClade (and will not require a math coprocessor) and there are efforts under way to make PAUP available on Macintosh. PHYLIP has undergone a steady evolution since its release, and Felsenstein has plans to continue that policy. A microcomputer descendant of the large mainframe program PHYSYS, authored by James S. Farris, is supposed to be forthcoming before the end of the year.

Just as this review was being completed, J. Rohlf and R. Sokal of the State University of New York at Stony Brook unveiled a beta-test microcomputer version of their phenetic program package, NT-SYS. Inasmuch as it was not in release form and does not include algorithms specifically designed to do phylogenetic analysis, it has not been included here (although some phenetic techniques, such as UPGMA, produce results similar to parsimony trees under certain assumptions).