Pyvolve: A flexible python module for simulating sequences along phylogenies

Stephanie J. Spielman, Claus O. Wilke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We introduce Pyvolve, a flexible Python module for simulating genetic data along a phylogeny using continuous-time Markov models of sequence evolution. Easily incorporated into Python bioinformatics pipelines, Pyvolve can simulate sequences according to most standard models of nucleotide, amino-acid, and codon sequence evolution. All model parameters are fully customizable. Users can additionally specify custom evolutionary models, with custom rate matrices and/or states to evolve. This flexibility makes Pyvolve a convenient framework not only for simulating sequences under a wide variety of conditions, but also for developing and testing new evolutionary models. Pyvolve is an open-source project under a FreeBSD license, and it is available for download, along with a detailed user-manual and example scripts, from

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0139047
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 23 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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