Benchmarking orthology methods using phylogenetic patterns defined at the base of Eukaryotes
Briefings in Bioinformatics
Insights into the evolution of ancestral complexes and pathways are generally achieved through careful and time-intensive manual analysis often using phylogenetic profiles of the constituent proteins. This manual analysis limits the possibility of including more protein-complex components, repeating the analyses for updated genome sets or expanding the analyses to larger scales. Automated orthology inference should allow such large-scale analyses, but substantial differences between orthologous
... groups generated by different approaches are observed. We evaluate orthology methods for their ability to recapitulate a number of observations that have been made with regard to genome evolution in eukaryotes. Specifically, we investigate phylogenetic profile similarity (co-occurrence of complexes), the last eukaryotic common ancestor's gene content, pervasiveness of gene loss and the overlap with manually determined orthologous groups. Moreover, we compare the inferred orthologies to each other. We find that most orthology methods reconstruct a large last eukaryotic common ancestor, with substantial gene loss, and can predict interacting proteins reasonably well when applying phylogenetic co-occurrence. At the same time, derived orthologous groups show imperfect overlap with manually curated orthologous groups. There is no strong indication of which orthology method performs better than another on individual or all of these aspects. Counterintuitively, despite the orthology methods behaving similarly regarding large-scale evaluation, the obtained orthologous groups differ vastly from one another. Availability and implementation The data and code underlying this article are available in github and/or upon reasonable request to the corresponding author: https://github.com/ESDeutekom/ComparingOrthologies.