Circos > Features

Plot Types

Support exists for a variety of plot types, such as paired-location, scatter, line, histogram, heat map, tiles, glyph and text elements plots. Plots may be combined in a single track and multiple tracks are supported. Colours and positions of individual elements can be tuned to suit your application.

Circos - Circular Genome Data Visualization (600 x 754)
Some examples of Circos plots. (A) glyph (B) highlight with depth control (C) scatter (D) paired-location (E) ribbon (F) histogram (G) tile (H) highlight with auto depth (I) text with auto arrange (J) heat map (K) high-density text (L) high-density glyph (M) multi-type composite (N) variable scale control (O) fine geometry control (P) flexible text and element placement (Q) transparent ribbons (R) stacked histogram (S) connectors (T) tick rings.

Dynamic Rules

Rules can be written to adjust formatting of plot elements based on position, value and formatting. You can control data characteristics (such as color, text size, position, etc) based on rules that may depend on initial data values.

Global and Local Zooming

Circos is unique in its support for both global and local axis scale deformation. This is illustrated in the set of figures below, where magnification of ideograms and regions of ideograms can independently adjusted to accentuate or attenuate the visual impact of information.

Circos - Circular Genome Data Visualization (750 x 302)
You can draw ideograms with no scaling effects (left), with a global scale change applied to one or more ideograms (middle), and additionally add any number of local scale adjustments to enlarge/compress individual regions of ideograms (right). When applying local scale changes, the magnification can be smoothly varied across the zoom region.
Circos - Circular Genome Data Visualization (400 x 401)
The purpose of scale stretching is to expand regions which contain interesting data patterns. As one region is stretched, others are contracted to maintain the entire data domain in view. In this figure, location of genes (green), disease genes (orange) and cancer genes (red) are plotted on chr17 with the region in the vicinity of 35 Mb repeatedly expanded. Genes are drawn using highlights with radial position representing the number of exons in the gene. (zoom).
Circos - Circular Genome Data Visualization (400 x 400)
Scale stretching is very visually appealing when combined with images that depict spatial relationships. Shown here is the similarity of human chromosome 1 (hg17) to the entire genome of the mouse (mm5). Lines represent alignment chains between human and mouse regions and are color coded by the identity of the mouse chromosome on which they impinge. Regions of human chromosome 1 and mouse chromosome 5 are expanded to show details in the alignments. (zoom).