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Lifemap: Exploring the Entire Tree of Life

Abstract : The Tree of Life (ToL) is meant to be a unique representation of the evolutionary relationships between all species on earth. Huge efforts are made to assemble such a large tree, helped by the decrease of sequencing costs and improved methods to reconstruct and combine phylogenies, but no tool exists today to explore the ToL in its entirety in a satisfying manner. By combining methods used in modern cartography, such as OpenStreetMap, with a new way of representing tree-like structures, I created Lifemap, a tool allowing the exploration of a complete representation of the ToL (between 800,000 and 2.2 million species depending on the data source) in a zoomable interface. A server version of Lifemap also allows users to visualize their own trees. This should help researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology in their everyday work, but may also permit the diffusion to a broader audience of our current knowledge of the evolutionary relationships linking all organisms.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 22, 2019 - 11:20:16 AM
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Damien M. de Vienne. Lifemap: Exploring the Entire Tree of Life. PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 2016, 14 (12), ⟨10.1371/journal.pbio.2001624⟩. ⟨hal-01799964⟩



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