Evolution of temperature optimum in Thermotogaceae and the prediction of trait values of uncultured organisms
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Quantitative characterization of the mode and rate of phenotypic evolution is rarely applied to prokaryotes. Here, we present an analysis of temperature optimum (Topt) evolution in the thermophilic family Thermotogaceae, which has a large number of cultured representatives. We use log-rate-interval analysis to show that Topt evolution in Thermotogaceae is consistent with a Brownian motion (BM) evolutionary model. The properties of the BM model are used to a establish confidence intervals on the unknown phenotypic trait value of an uncultured organism, given its distance to a close relative with known trait value. Cross-validation by bootstrapping indicates that the predictions are robust.