One of the key computational problems in comparative genomics is the reconstruction of genomes of ancestral species based on genomes of extant species. Since most dramatic changes in genomic architectures are caused by genome rearrangements, this problem is often posed as minimization of the number of genome rearrangements between extant and ancestral genomes. The basic case of three given genomes is known as the genome median problem. Whole-genome duplications (WGDs) represent yet another type of dramatic evolutionary events and inspire the reconstruction of preduplicated ancestral genomes, referred to as the genome halving problem. Generalization of WGDs to whole-genome multiplication events leads to the genome aliquoting problem.


In this study, we propose polynomial-size integer linear programming (ILP) formulations for the aforementioned problems. We further obtain such formulations for the restricted and conserved versions of the median and halving problems, which have been recently introduced to improve biological relevance of the solutions. Extensive evaluation of solutions to the different ILP problems demonstrates their good accuracy. Furthermore, since the ILP formulations for the conserved versions have linear size, they provide a novel practical approach to ancestral genome reconstruction, which combines the advantages of homology- and rearrangements-based methods.

Availability and implementation

Code and data are available in

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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