Thursday, 26 February 2015

BUSTED - Branch-site Unrestricted Statistical Test for Episodic Diversification

This paper popped up in my PubCrawler feed today:

Murrell B et al. (2015). Gene-wide identification of episodic selection. Mol Biol Evol. 2015 Feb 19. pii: msv035.

We present BUSTED, a new approach to identifying gene-wide evidence of episodic positive selection, where the non-synonymous substitution rate is transiently greater than the synonymous rate. BUSTED can be used either on an entire phylogeny (without requiring an a priori hypothesis regarding which branches are under positive selection) or on a pre-specified subset of foreground lineages (if a suitable a priori hypothesis is available). Selection is modeled as varying stochastically over branches and sites, and we propose a computationally inexpensive evidence metric for identifying sites under episodic positive selection on any foreground branches. We compare BUSTED to existing models on simulated and empirical data. An implementation is available on, with a widget allowing the interactive specification of foreground branches.

From the Introduction, we find that BUSTED is indeed an orca-worthy contrived acronym: BUSTED - Branch-site Unrestricted Statistical Test for Episodic Diversification.


  1. You'll love our other work: