Recoverability of ancestral recombination graph topologies

Virtual seminar series: Horizontal evolutionary processes in phylogenetics

  • Date: Apr 26, 2022
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Elizabeth Hayman
  • University of Oxford
  • Location: Online
  • Host: TIDE, Denise Kühnert
  • Contact:
Recoverability of ancestral recombination graph topologies

Ancestral recombination graphs (ARGs) are the extension of phylogenetic trees to include recombination, a powerful evolutionary process that shapes the genetic diversity of many species. The topology of this graph gives us important information on the evolution of a species, but algorithms to reconstruct an ARG from species data are often reliant on sample sequences carrying informative patterns of mutations.
In this talk I will present exact results concerning the probability of recovering the true topology of an ARG under the coalescent with recombination and gene conversion. These expressions give us an indication of the uncertainty in reconstructed ARGs, and we see that for parameter values realistic for biological species (in particular SARS-CoV-2), the probability of reconstructing genealogies that are close to the truth is low. This is joint work with Anastasia Ignatieva and Jotun Hein (

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