CoPAP: Coevolution of Presence–Absence Patterns

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Abstract

Evolutionary analysis of phyletic patterns (phylogenetic profiles) is widely used in biology, representing presence or absence of characters such as genes, restriction sites, introns, indels and methylation sites. The phyletic pattern observed in extant genomes is the result of ancestral gain and loss events along the phylogenetic tree. Here we present CoPAP (coevolution of presence–absence patterns), a user-friendly web server, which performs accurate inference of coevolving characters as manifested by co-occurring gains and losses. CoPAP uses state-of-the-art probabilistic methodologies to infer coevolution and allows for advanced network analysis and visualization. We developed a platform for comparing different algorithms that detect coevolution, which includes simulated data with pairs of coevolving sites and independent sites. Using these simulated data we demonstrate that CoPAP performance is higher than alternative methods. We exemplify CoPAP utility by analyzing coevolution among thousands of bacterial genes across 681 genomes. Clusters of coevolving genes that were detected using our method largely coincide with known biosynthesis pathways and cellular modules, thus exhibiting the capability of CoPAP to infer biologically meaningful interactions. CoPAP is freely available for use athttp://copap.tau.ac.il/.

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