An amino acid substitution-selection model adjusts residue fitness to improve phylogenetic estimation.
Mol Biol Evol. 2014 Apr;31(4):779-92
Authors: Wang HC, Susko E, Roger AJ
Standard protein phylogenetic models use fixed rate matrices of amino acid interchange derived from analyses of large databases. Differences between the stationary amino acid frequencies of these rate matrices from those of a data set of interest are typically adjusted for by matrix multiplication that converts the empirical rate matrix to an exchangeability matrix which is then postmultiplied by the amino acid frequencies in the alignment. The result is a time-reversible rate matrix with stationary amino acid frequencies equal to the data set frequencies. On the basis of population genetics principles, we develop an amino acid substitution-selection model that parameterizes the fitness of an amino acid as the logarithm of the ratio of the frequency of the amino acid to the frequency of the same amino acid under no selection. The model gives rise to a different sequence of matrix multiplications to convert an empirical rate matrix to one that has stationary amino acid frequencies equal to the data set frequencies. We incorporated the substitution-selection model with an improved amino acid class frequency mixture (cF) model to partially take into account site-specific amino acid frequencies in the phylogenetic models. We show that 1) the selection models fit data significantly better than corresponding models without selection for most of the 21 test data sets; 2) both cF and cF selection models favored the phylogenetic trees that were inferred under current sophisticated models and methods for three difficult phylogenetic problems (the positions of microsporidia and breviates in eukaryote phylogeny and the position of the root of the angiosperm tree); and 3) for data simulated under site-specific residue frequencies, the cF selection models estimated trees closer to the generating trees than a standard Г model or cF without selection. We also explored several ways of estimating amino acid frequencies under neutral evolution that are required for these selection models. By better modeling the amino acid substitution process, the cF selection models will be valuable for phylogenetic inference and evolutionary studies.
PMID: 24441033 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]