A new paper is out from the lab: PLoS ONE: Accounting For Alignment Uncertainty in Phylogenomics.
It describes the “Zorro” software for automated alignment masking.
Uncertainty in multiple sequence alignments has a large impact on phylogenetic analyses. Little has been done to evaluate the quality of individual positions in protein sequence alignments, which directly impact the accuracy of phylogenetic trees. Here we describe ZORRO, a probabilistic masking program that accounts for alignment uncertainty by assigning confidence scores to each alignment position. Using the BALIBASE database and in simulation studies, we demonstrate that masking by ZORRO significantly reduces the alignment uncertainty and improves the tree accuracy.
This work was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.