Fast and slow implementations of relaxed-clock methods show similar patterns of accuracy in estimating divergence times

Fabia U. Battistuzzi, Paul Billing-Ross, Aditya Paliwal, Sudhir Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Phylogenetic analyses are using increasingly larger data sets for estimating divergence times. With this increase in data sizes, the computation time required is becoming a bottleneck in evolutionary investigations. Our recent study of two relaxed-clock programs (BEAST and MultiDivTime [MDT]) showed their usefulness in time estimation; however, they place a significant computational time burden on biologists even for moderately small data sets. Here, we report speed and accuracy of another relaxed-clock program (MCMCTree, MC2T). We find it to be much faster than both MDT and BEAST while producing comparable time estimates. These results will encourage the analysis of larger data sets as well as the evaluation of the robustness of estimated times to changes in the model of evolutionary rates and clock calibrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2439-2442
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this