Softparsmap - The Soft Parsimony Map


As species and their genomes diverge during evolutionary history, the sets of genes and their sequences also diverge. Gene duplication has been proposed as a crucial source of evolutionary innovation in organisms, like Eukaryotes, with small effective population sizes (Ohno, 1970). With duplication, comes initial redundancy, followed by neofunctionalization, subfunctionalization, and most commonly pseudogenization (Lynch, 2001). This differential retention of duplicate genes can result in a different phylogenetic tree for individual gene families than for the species as a whole. When differential parsing of shared ancestral gene and nucleotide polymorphism is added to the picture as well as uncertainty in tree calculation methodologioes, the correlation between the evolutionary history of a gene and a species becomes murky.

In the development of a large scale database for understanding species evolution through the evolution of gene families (Liberles et al., 2001; Roth et al., 2005), it has been necessary to develop a soft parsimony based approach to map gene trees onto species trees.


Softparsmap is a Java based package implementing the soft parsimony approach presented in [1]. Current available features are With Java programming the package can be adapted to almost any source of data. However, existing interface retrieve species trees from NCBI Taxonomy, sequence data from an XML file, and the gene trees from one file per family. In order to parse in and out trees the Newick and Schreiber format is supported.


The Quick Start Guide (as pdf) will guide you through the configuration and usage of the package. For more information see the Manual (as pdf).


Softparsmap contains source files, compiled files, as well as documentation. The package Jooc is also included.


Download and unzip the package. Folders and files found in the main directory are The jar-files found in the lib directory must be made visible to Java. This is done either by pointing to them at the prompt or by adding them to the system variable CLASSPATH. More information on how to set the class path is found at Solaris or at Windows.


Softparsmap is dependent on a configuration tool called Jooc. Both packages require J2SE 1.4.2 or later.


Feedback is most certainly welcome. Send your additions, comments, questions, and criticisms to david dot liberles at bccs dot uib dot no


[1] A. C. Berglund, P. J. Steffansson, M. J. Betts, and D. A. Liberles, Optimal gene trees from sequences and species trees using a soft interpretation of parsimony , Journal of Molecular Evolution (2006).