Stochastic Models for the Inference of Life Evolution

ASAP: assemble species by automatic partitioning

Puillandre, N., Brouillet, S., Achaz, G.

Molecular Ecology Resources


Here, we describe Assemble Species by Automatic Partitioning (ASAP), a new method to build species partitions from single locus sequence alignments (i.e., barcode data sets). ASAP is efficient enough to split data sets as large 104 sequences into putative species in several minutes. Although grounded in evolutionary theory, ASAP is the implementation of a hierarchical clustering algorithm that only uses pairwise genetic distances, avoiding the computational burden of phylogenetic reconstruction. Importantly, ASAP proposes species partitions ranked by a new scoring system that uses no biological prior insight of intraspecific diversity. ASAP is a stand-alone program that can be used either through a graphical web-interface or that can be downloaded and compiled for local usage. We have assessed its power along with three others programs (ABGD, PTP and GMYC) on 10 real COI barcode data sets representing various degrees of challenge (from small and easy cases to large and complicated data sets). We also used Monte-Carlo simulations of a multispecies coalescent framework to assess the strengths and weaknesses of ASAP and the other programs. Through these analyses, we demonstrate that ASAP has the potential to become a major tool for taxonomists as it proposes rapidly in a full graphical exploratory interface relevant species hypothesis as a first step of the integrative taxonomy process.


title={ASAP: assemble species by automatic partitioning},
author={Puillandre, Nicolas and Brouillet, Sophie and Achaz, Guillaume},
journal={Molecular Ecology Resources},
publisher={Wiley Online Library}

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