In bioinformatics, to study the evolutionary relationship among a set of species, a common approach is to construct a phylogenetic tree. However, it is well known that the tree structure may not be powerful to capture some evolutionary events such as hybridization processes and horizontal gene transfer. The concept of phylogenetic tree has been extended to phylogenetic network to model these events. To obtain such a network, we can base on different sets of common genes of the species to construct different phylogenetic trees. Then, merge these trees to form a network. The abstract problem can be regarded as constructing a network according to some criteria from a set of binary trees. We will define the problem and all terms clearly in the talk, and no biological knowledge is assumed from the audience. We will show how to construct a restricted type of phylogenetic network, if it exists, from a set of binary trees on the same set of leaves in O(n^2) time.
David Zhang is currently under the supervision of Prof. S.M. Yiu at the Department of Computer Science, the University of Hong Kong.