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When does the incongruence length difference test fail?

By Cyril - Posted on 17 April 2014

TitleWhen does the incongruence length difference test fail?
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsDarlu P, Lecointre G
AbstractThis paper examines the efficiency of the incongruence length difference test (ILD) proposed by Farris et al. ( 1994) for assessing the incongruence between sets of characters. DNA sequences were simulated under various evolutionary conditions: (1) following symmetric or asymmetric trees, (2) with various mutation rates, (3) with constant or variable evolutionary rates along the branches, and (4) with different among-site Substitution rates, We first compared two sets of sequences generated along the same tree and under the same evolutionary conditions, The probability of a Type-I error (wrongly rejecting the true hypothesis of congruence) was substantially below the standard 5% level of significance given by the ILD test, this finding indicates that the choice of the 5%, level is rather conservative in this case. We then compared two data sets, still generated along the same tree, but under different evolutionary conditions (constant vs. variable evolutionary rate, homogeneity vs. heterogeneity rate of substitution). Under these conditions, the probability of rejecting the true hypothesis of congruence was greater than the 5% given by the ILD test and increased with the number of sites and the degree to which the tree was asymmetric. Finally, the comparison of the two data sets, simulated under contrasting tree structures (symmetric vs, asymmetric) but under the same evolutionary conditions, led us to reject the hypothesis of congruence, albeit weakly, particularly when the number of informative sites was low and among-site substitution rate heterogeneous, We conclude that the LLD test has only limited power to detect incongruence caused by differences in the evolutionary conditions or in the tree topology, except when numerous characters are present and the substitution rate is homogeneous from site to site.