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Why look at G+C content?

S. LaBonne labonnes at csc.albany.edu
Fri Mar 15 09:46:50 EST 1996

In article <4i9iod$nhe at nntp3.u.washington.edu>,
Mary K. Kuhner <mkkuhner at phylo.genetics.washington.edu> wrote:
>labonnes at csc.albany.edu (S. LaBonne) writes:
>>Either I'm missing something badly here, or the other respondents to
>>this thread are.  So here goes: your average Joe molecular biologist
>>is interested in G+C content mainly because it's directly related to
>>the thermal stability (melting point) of the DNA.  
>>Steve LaBonne ********************* (labonnes at cnsunix.albany.edu)
>But your average Joe phylogeneticist is interested in nucleotide content
>because if you ignore it you may inappropriately group two taxa together
>because they have independently evolved towards the same non-standard
>nucleotide content.  G+C is not the only possible issue here, though
>I do think it's the most likely to cause trouble.

Sorry, I should have made my point clearer.  What I was suggesting is
that phylogeneticists may in some cases be reporting G+C content
simply out of force of habit, the habit being derived from the
considerations that I noted.  I agree that this is not a good thing,
for precisely the reason you state.
Opinions are mine alone; I never met a university with opinions!
Steve LaBonne ********************* (labonnes at cnsunix.albany.edu)
"It can never be satisfied, the mind, never."   - Wallace Stevens

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