New methods for inferring population dynamics from microbial sequences

Marcos Pérez-Losada, Megan L. Porter, Loubna Rothenburg, Keith A. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The reduced cost of high throughput sequencing, increasing automation, and the amenability of sequence data for evolutionary analysis are making DNA data (or the corresponding amino acid sequences) the molecular marker of choice for studying microbial population genetics and phylogenetics. Concomitantly, due to the ever-increasing computational power, new, more accurate (and sometimes faster), sequence-based analytical approaches are being developed and applied to these new data. Here we review some commonly used, recently improved, and newly developed methodologies for inferring population dynamics and evolutionary relationships using nucleotide and amino acid sequence data, including: alignment, model selection, bifurcating and network phylogenetic approaches, and methods for estimating demographic history, population structure, and population parameters (recombination, genetic diversity, growth, and natural selection). Because of the extensive literature published on these topics this review cannot be comprehensive in its scope. Instead, for all the methods discussed we introduce the approaches we think are particularly useful for analyses of microbial sequences and where possible, include references to recent and more inclusive reviews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-43
Number of pages20
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alignment
  • Coalescent
  • Microorganisms
  • Phylogenetics
  • Population genetics
  • Sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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