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A likelihood ratio test for species membership based on DNA sequence data

Date: Oct 29, 2005

Pub: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 360 (1462) 1969-1974

Author(s): Matz, M. V. and Nielsen, R.


DNA barcoding as an approach for species identification is rapidly increasing in popularity. However, it remains unclear which statistical procedures should accompany the technique to provide a measure of uncertainty. Here we describe a likelihood ratio test which can be used to test if a sampled sequence is a member of an a priori specified species. We investigate the performance of the test using coalescence simulations, as well as using the real data from butterflies and frogs representing two kinds of challenge for DNA barcoding: extremely low and extremely high levels of sequence variability.

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