Cladistic analyses of molecular characters: The good, the bad and the ugly
Molecular cladistics is an emerging discipline in which any heritable molecular characteristic can be treated in the same way that a traditional cladist would treat a morphological character. Taxa that share specific derived molecular characters (synapomorphies) are recognized as more closely related to each other than they are to other taxa without these characters. Herein, I point out that molecular characters are susceptible to the same problems of homoplasy and uncertain polarity as morphological characters and illustrate these problems (and point towards a general solution) using examples from the Metazoa.
|Keywords||molecular synapomorphy, phylogeny, rare genomic change, RGC, Metazoa, cladistics|
|Journal||Contributions to Zoology|
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
Telford, M. J. (2002). Cladistic analyses of molecular characters: The good, the bad and the ugly. Contributions to Zoology, 71(1/3), 93–100.