Distinguishing regional from within-codon rate heterogeneity in DNA sequence alignments

Alexander Vassilios Mantzaris

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contribution

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We present an improved phylogenetic factorial hidden Markov model (FHMM) for detecting two types of mosaic structures in DNA sequence alignments, related to (1) recombination and (2) rate heterogeneity. The focus of the present work is on improving the modelling of the latter aspect. Earlier papers have modelled different degrees of rate heterogeneity with separate hidden states of the FHMM. This approach fails to appreciate the intrinsic difference between two types of rate heterogeneity: long-range regional effects, which are potentially related to differences in the selective pressure, and the short-term periodic patterns within the codons, which merely capture the signature of the genetic code. We propose an improved model that explicitly distinguishes between these two effects, and we assess its performance on a set of simulated DNA sequence alignments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • DNA sequence alignments
  • mathematical modelling
  • statistics

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