FUN FACT: Tequila is distilled from Agave juices and bats pollinate the Agave plants.

Today was spent honing our new found computer skills to ensure that we were able to use all of the software programmes to build Phylogenetic Trees. Today I chose to look at von Willebrand’s factor in a variety of species. Using the 5 step process that Graham had shown us, I endeavoured to draw my tree.

Step 1: Pinpoint sequences that are homologs to the sequence that you wish to study.

Step 2: Choose which sequences to incorporate into the tree.

Step 3: Save the sequences into one folder.

Step 4: Carry out Sequence Alignment.

Step 5: Draw a Phylogenetic Tree using the aligned sequences.

Results from Alignment using Clustal X2

Results from Alignment using Clustal X2


Neighbour Joining Tree

Neighbour Joining Tree

Maximum parsimony Tree

Maximum parsimony Tree

Maximum Likelihood Tree

Maximum Likelihood Tree

The real skill of course, apart from choosing the homologs that will appear in the tree is the meaningful interpretation of the trees themselves. Methinks that this might take longer than a day or two to master 🙂

Graham also introduced us to a programme called UCSF Chimera  which allows molecular structures to be visualized.

cytochrome b

cytochrome b

 Yet another great day. Thanks Graham.

Tomorrow, Olivia and I are planning to put pen to paper to start our TY resource book. We have a multitude of ideas and can’t wait to get started. Until then……



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