The study of evolution at the molecular level has given the subject of evolutionary biology a new significance. Phylogenetic 'trees' of gene sequences are a powerful tool for recovering evolutionary relationships among species, and can be used to answer a broad range of evolutionary and ecological questions. They are also beginning to permeate the medical sciences. In this book, the authors approach the study of molecular evolution with the phylogenetic tree as a central metaphor. This will equip students and professionals with the ability to see both the evolutionary relevance of molecular data, and the significance evolutionary theory has for molecular studies. The book is accessible yet sufficiently detailed and explicit so that the student can learn the mechanics of the procedures discussed. The book is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in molecular evolution/phylogenetic reconstruction. It will also be a useful supplement for students taking wider courses in evolution, as well as a valuable resource for professionals. First student textbook of phylogenetic reconstruction which uses the tree as a central metaphor of evolution. Chapter summaries and annotated suggestions for further reading. Worked examples facilitate understanding of some of the more complex issues. Emphasis on clarity and accessibility.

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