Proportional and separate models able to apply different combination of substitution rate matrix (SRM) and among-site rate variation model (ASRVM) to each locus are frequently used in phylogenetic studies of multilocus data. A proportional model assumes that branch lengths are proportional among partitions and a separate model assumes that each partition has an independent set of branch lengths. However, the selection from among nonpartitioned (i.e., a common combination of models is applied to all-loci concatenated sequences), proportional and separate models is usually based on the researcher's preference rather than on any information criteria. This study describes two programs, 'Kakusan4' (for DNA sequences) and 'Aminosan' (for amino-acid sequences), which allow the selection of evolutionary models based on several types of information criteria. The programs can handle both multilocus and single-locus data, in addition to providing an easy-to-use wizard interface and a noninteractive command line interface. In the case of multilocus data, SRMs and ASRVMs are compared at each locus and at all-loci concatenated sequences, after which nonpartitioned, proportional and separate models are compared based on information criteria. The programs also provide model configuration files for mrbayes, paup*, phyml, raxml and Treefinder to support further phylogenetic analysis using a selected model. When likelihoods are optimized by Treefinder, the best-fit models were found to differ depending on the data set. Furthermore, differences in the information criteria among nonpartitioned, proportional and separate models were much larger than those among the nonpartitioned models. These findings suggest that selecting from nonpartitioned, proportional and separate models results in a better phylogenetic tree. Kakusan4 and Aminosan are available at. They are licensed under gnugpl Ver.2, and are able to run on Windows, MacOS X and Linux.
- Bayesian inference
- Maximum likelihood
- Model selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics