Rtapas: An R Package to Assess Cophylogenetic Signal between Two Evolutionary Histories

Mar Llaberia-Robledillo, J. Ignacio Lucas-Lledó, Oscar A. Pérez-Escobar, Boris R. Krasnov, Juan Antonio Balbuena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cophylogeny represents a framework to understand how ecological and evolutionary process influence lineage diversification. The recently developed algorithm Random Tanglegram Partitions provides a directly interpretable statistic to quantify the strength of cophylogenetic signal and incorporates phylogenetic uncertainty into its estimation, and maps onto a tanglegram the contribution to cophylogenetic signal of individual host-symbiont associations. We introduce Rtapas, an R package to perform Random Tanglegram Partitions. Rtapas applies a given global-fit method to random partial tanglegrams of a fixed size to identify the associations, terminals, and internal nodes that maximize phylogenetic congruence. This new package extends the original implementation with a new algorithm that examines the contribution to phylogenetic incongruence of each host-symbiont association and adds ParaFit, a method designed to test for topological congruence between two phylogenies, to the list of global-fit methods than can be applied. Rtapas facilitates and speeds up cophylogenetic analysis, as it can handle large phylogenies (100+ terminals) in affordable computational time as illustrated with two real-world examples. Rtapas can particularly cater for the need for causal inference in cophylogeny in two domains: (i) Analysis of complex and intricate host-symbiont evolutionary histories and (ii) assessment of topological (in)congruence between phylogenies produced with different DNA markers and specifically identify subsets of loci for phylogenetic analysis that are most likely to reflect gene-tree evolutionary histories. [Cophylogeny; cophylogenetic signal; gene tree incongruence; phylogenetic congruence; phylogenomics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-954
Number of pages9
JournalSystematic Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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