Deep metazoan phylogeny

We reconstructed a robust phylogenetic tree of the Metazoa, consisting of almost 1,500 taxa, by profile neighbor joining (PNJ), an automated computational method that inherits the efficiency of the neighbor joining algorithm. This tree supports the one proposed in the latest review on metazoan phylogeny. Our main goal is not to discuss aspects of the phylogeny itself, but rather to point out that PNJ can be a valuable tool when the basal branching pattern of a large phylogenetic tree must be estimated, whereas traditional methods would be computationally impractical.