Model selection may not be a mandatory step for phylogeny reconstruction

Shiran Abadi, Dana Azouri, Tal Pupko, Itay Mayrose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Determining the most suitable model for phylogeny reconstruction constitutes a fundamental step in numerous evolutionary studies. Over the years, various criteria for model selection have been proposed, leading to debate over which criterion is preferable. However, the necessity of this procedure has not been questioned to date. Here, we demonstrate that although incongruency regarding the selected model is frequent over empirical and simulated data, all criteria lead to very similar inferences. When topologies and ancestral sequence reconstruction are the desired output, choosing one criterion over another is not crucial. Moreover, skipping model selection and using instead the most parameter-rich model, GTR+I+G, leads to similar inferences, thus rendering this time-consuming step nonessential, at least under current strategies of model selection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number934
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Model selection may not be a mandatory step for phylogeny reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this