Tag Archives: genome visualization


What’s the Answer? (visualize genomic rearrangements)

This week’s highlighted question at Biostars is a helpful summary of a number of tools available to solve this visualization problem. Although phrased in the form of a question, the original poster was actually providing a helpful list of the ones he’s investigated already, but he also wanted to know what was availble that others might be using. So it had content and generated some nice discussion on the subject as well.

Biostars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the Biostars_logo community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at Biostars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Thursdays we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at Biostars.

Question: Which program, tool, or strategy do you use to visualize genomic rearrangements?

In relation to my master thesis I’m working on tools to visualize fusion genes. In that regard I’m interested in any and all strategies and tools that exists for visualizing genomic rearrangements. I’ll include the list I have so far below, and update the list when I get answers.

Programming packages:

  • Circos: Perl package for circular plots, which are well suited for genomic rearrangements.
  • J-Circos is a java application for doing interactive work with circos plots.
  • ClicO FS: an interactive web-based service of Circos.
  • rCircos: R package for circular plots.
  • OmicCircos: R package for circular plots for omics data.
  • ggbio: R package for visualizing biological data. Has a circular view similar to the previous packages.
  • D3 chord diagrams (javascript) can be used to visualize genomic rearrangements. See this plot of migration flows as a similar example.

“Complete” tools:

[there's a series of images with examples here, I don't want to paste them all--go have a look]


There were a number of additional tools listed in the comments. You should go over and look. And if you have other ones that are not yet over there, help a student out and add them.

Video Tip of the Week: Visualizing the Galaxy

An antennae galaxy

Well, not that kind of galaxy (though visualizing those are quite nice), this kind of Galaxy. Galaxy is an excellent tool to analyze, reproduce and share genomics data and the Galaxy folks are always updating, improving and adding features to the tool. We have a tutorial for Galaxy to help you get started using this tool. As you might have guessed from the previous sentence, Galaxy is a moving target. The basics (and that’s what the tutorial is for) are the same, but the tutorial is in the process of being updated to reflect some of those changes. That update should be out sooner rather than later, but that said, we just can’t fit everything into the tutorial. The relatively new visualization tool is something that will not be in the tutorial. As there are no tutorials on visualization at the Galaxy site that I can find (if you know of any, link them here!), I’ve included a quick intro to visualizations using Galaxy in this tip of the week.

There are other ways to visualize the data analyzed at Galaxy. Galaxy datasets can often be viewed directly at UCSC Genome Browser, Ensembl, RViewer or in GeneTrack within Galaxy. Those are all excellent tools and powerful ways to view and explore your analysis in depth. In addition, the Galaxy visualization tool is a way to quickly visualize your data to help  discovery,  direct further analysis and share what you’ve found. It is obviously not a full fledged browser, but is very useful in doing a simple visualization of your data from within Galaxy. Today’s tip gives a quick introduction to Galaxy visualization.

Quick Links:
Galaxy (OH tutorial-subscr.)
UCSC Genome Browser (OH tutorials-free)
Ensembl (OH tutorials-subscr.)

P.S. You might here some bird song in the background. I am in, and working from, Hawaii for the next month (yeah, it’s tough work but someone has got to do it). No way to get those birds (or the frogs at night) to be silent for a bit.

Can you spare a genome browser?

Recently I’ve been coming across more and more requests and need for genome annotation and visualization software. Genomes are being completed left and right and researchers need ways to browse and annotate these genomes. There are a lot of tools out there. This post is a quick attempt to start listing those. It is not exhaustive right now, right now there are the ones off the top of my head and those focused a bit on visualization (though there is annotation). I plan to expand this list (have any to suggest) and enhance it with more descriptions as time goes forward. Probably make it a page if it becomes useful enough. I’m not listing databases (such as UCSC Genome Browser, RGD, Ensembl, Flybase, but rather software that researchers can use to create such browsable genomes). So, here we go…

Continue reading