Description:A program for the Bayesian estimation of phylogeny
Abstract:The reconstruction of the evolutionary history of a group of organisms (phylogeny) is used throughout the life science, as they offer a structure around which to organize the knowledge and data accumulated by researchers. The inference of phylogenies with computational methods is widely used in medical and biological research and has many important applications, such as gene commonly prediction, drug discovery and conservation biology. The most commonly used methods to infer phylogenies include cladistics, phenetics, maximum likelihood and Markov Chain Monte Carlo based Bayesian inference.<BR/>These last two depend upon a mathematical model describing the evolution of characters observed in the species included and are usually used for molecular phylogeny where the characters are aligned nucleotide or amino acid sequence. Due to the nature of Bayesian inference, the simulation can be prone to entrapment in local optima. To overcome this problem and achieve better estimation, the MrBayes program has to run for millions of iterations (generations) which require a large amount of computation time.<BR/>For multiple sessions with different models or parameters, it will take a long time before the results can be analyzed and summarized. Since the phylogenetic tools are widely used by bioinformatics community, a Grid service for the parallelised version of MrBayes application has been deployed in order to allow bioinformatics to perform phylogenetic studies on a large scale.