Using jackknife to assess the quality of gene order phylogenies
1 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29028, USA
2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29028, USA
BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11:168 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-168Published: 6 April 2010
In recent years, gene order data has attracted increasing attention from both biologists and computer scientists as a new type of data for phylogenetic analysis. If gene orders are viewed as one character with a large number of states, traditional bootstrap procedures cannot be applied. Researchers began to use a jackknife resampling method to assess the quality of gene order phylogenies.
In this paper, we design and conduct a set of experiments to validate the performance of this jackknife procedure and provide discussions on how to conduct it properly. Our results show that jackknife is very useful to determine the confidence level of a phylogeny obtained from gene orders and a jackknife rate of 40% should be used. However, although a branch with support value of 85% can be trusted, low support branches require careful investigation before being discarded.
Our experiments show that jackknife is indeed necessary and useful for gene order data, yet some caution should be taken when the results are interpreted.