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Large phylogeny estimation is a combinatorial optimization problem that no future computer will ever be able to solve exactly in practical computing time. The difficulty of the problem is amplified by the need to use complex evolutionary models and large taxon samplings. Hence, many heuristic approaches have been developed, with varying degrees of success. Here, we report on a heuristic approach, the metapopulation genetic algorithm, involving several populations of trees that are forced todoi:10.1073/pnas.162224399 pmid:12142465 pmcid:PMC124960 fatcat:5sfwb7nlnvad5nyk4k5pitcdza