Overview of Phylogenetic Analysis

Phylogenetic analysis is the process you use to determine the evolutionary relationships between organisms. The results of an analysis can be drawn in a hierarchical diagram called a cladogram or phylogram (phylogenetic tree). The branches in a tree are based on the hypothesized evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) between organisms. Each member in a branch, also known as a monophyletic group, is assumed to be descended from a common ancestor. Originally, phylogenetic trees were created using morphology, but now, determining evolutionary relationships includes matching patterns in nucleic acid and protein sequences.

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