A phylogenetic tree shows graphically the evolutionary relationships among various organisms. The dynamic development of molecular biology and bioinformatics has led to a revolution in our knowledge of biological evolution and the kinships between living organisms and viruses. Nowadays, the available laboratory techniques and computer software allow reconstruction of the actual changes which occurred in the evolutionary process. The derivation of molecular evolution models and several methods for building phylogenetic trees have played a huge role in that enterprise. The emergence of new infectious agents is a problem afflicting mankind since prehistoric times. The study of phylogenetic implications among pathogenic microorganisms allows tracking the process of evolution, the indirect understanding of their biology, and thus facilitates the implementation of treatment.
The presented article demonstrates the basic methods for constructing phylogenetic trees, as well as the benefits of reconstructing the evolution process and kinship with the study of microorganisms; in particular, viruses are considered from the clinical aspect.
PMID 24069849 - click here to show this article in PubMed