#phylogenetics #bioinformatics #cli #newick #phylip

bin+lib phylotree

A crate to deal with phylogenetic trees and distance matrices

3 releases

0.1.2 Sep 20, 2023
0.1.1 May 11, 2023
0.1.0 May 5, 2023

#64 in Biology

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Used in nwr

GPL-3.0 license



license_badge crate version rust doc

This crate aims to be a general purpose package to deal with phylogenetic trees and simulate them. Is also comes with a simple CLI tool to manipulate and simulate phylogenetic trees directly from the command line.

Installing phylotree


To use this crate just run cargo add phylotree in your cargo project or add phylotree = "0.1.2" to your Cargo.toml file.


To install the CLI you can use cargo install phylotree

Or you can build the project from source:

git clone https://github.com/lucblassel/phylotree.git
cd phylotree
cargo build --release
mv target/release/phylotree <somewhere/in/your/PATH>

Using this crate

Below is some sample usage of the phylotree crate, please see docs.rs/phylotree for the full documentation.

use phylotree::tree::Tree;

// Building a tree from scratch //
let mut tree = Tree::new();

// Add the root node
let root = tree.add(Node::new());

// Add a child to the root
let child1 = tree.add_child(Node::new_named("Child_1"), root, None).unwrap();
// Add a child to the root with a branch length
let child2 = tree.add_child(Node::new_named("Child_2"), root, Some(0.5)).unwrap();

// Add more children
let child3 = tree.add_child(Node::new_named("Child_3"), child1, None).unwrap();

// Get depth of child
assert_eq!(tree.get(&child3).unwrap().get_depth(), 2)

// Reading and writing trees //
let newick_str = "((A:0.1,B:0.2)F:0.6,(C:0.3,D:0.4)E:0.5)G;";
let tree = Tree::from_newick(newick_str).unwrap();

assert_eq!(tree.to_newick().unwrap(), newick_string)

// Traversing trees //
let newick_str = "((A,B)C,(D,E)F)G;";
let mut tree = Tree::from_newick(newick_str).unwrap();
let root = tree.get_root().unwrap();

let preorder: Vec<_> = tree.preorder(&root).unwrap()
    .map(|node_id| tree.get(node_id).unwrap().name.clone().unwrap())

assert_eq!(preorder, vec!["G", "C", "A", "B", "F", "D", "E"]);

// Comparing trees //

// The second tree is just a random rotation of the first,
// they represent the same phylogeney
let newick_orig = "((A:0.1,B:0.2)F:0.6,(C:0.3,D:0.4)E:0.5)G;";
let newick_rota = "((D:0.3,C:0.4)E:0.5,(B:0.2,A:0.1)F:0.6)G;";

let tree_orig = Tree::from_newick(newick_orig).unwrap();
let tree_rota = Tree::from_newick(newick_rota).unwrap();

let rf = tree_orig.robinson_foulds(&tree_rota).unwrap();

assert_eq!(rf, 0)

// Computing a distance matrix //
let newick = "((T3:0.2,T1:0.2):0.3,(T2:0.4,T0:0.5):0.6);";
let tree = Tree::from_newick(newick).unwrap();
// Compute the whole distance matrix
let matrix = tree.distance_matrix_recursive().unwrap();
let phylip="\
T0    0  1.6  0.9  1.6
T1    1.6  0  1.5  0.4
T2    0.9  1.5  0  1.5
T3    1.6  0.4  1.5  0

assert_eq!(matrix.to_phylip(true).unwrap(), phylip)

Using the CLI

There is a simple CLI that comes with this package:

A simple command line tool to manipulate phylogenetic trees

Usage: phylotree <COMMAND>

  generate     Generate random tree(s)
  stats        Get statistics about a tree
  compare      Compare two phylogenetic trees
  matrix       Output the phylogenetic distance matrix of the tree
  distance     Outputs a subset of phylogenetic distances
  collapse     Collapse branches that are under a certain branch length threshold
  remove       Remove tips from the trees
  deduplicate  Remove or collapse branches corresponding to identical sequences in a reference alignment
  help         Print this message or the help of the given subcommand(s)

  -h, --help  Print help

Python package

A python package has also been implemented, using PyO3 to create the python bindings. It is available on PyPi, you can see the API of the package here.

Example usage:

from phylotree import Tree

# Read a newick file
tree = Tree.from_newick("path/to/tree.nwk")

# Read a newick string
tree = Tree.from_string("((A,(C,E)D)B,((H)I)G)F;")

# Print newick formatted string of the tree

# Get information about the tree

# Get information about nodes
names = tree.get_leaf_names()
info = tree.get_node_attributes(name=names[0])
print(f"Parent edge has length: {info['parent_edge']}")
dist_branches, dist_topo = tree.get_distance(names=(names[0], names[1]))

distance_matrix = tree.to_matrix()
dist_mat = distance_matrix[(names[0], names[1])]
assert dist_branches == dist_mat

# Modify the tree
tree.compress() # Remove nodes with 1 parent and 1 child
tree.rescale() # Change branch lengths
tree.prune(name="D") # Remove sbutree rooted a specific node

# Traverse the tree in a given order
for node_id in tree.traversal(order="levelorder"):
    node = tree.get_node_attributes(id=node_id)


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