Chromosome Research

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 217–223 | Cite as

chromDraw: an R package for visualization of linear and circular karyotypes

  • Jan Janečka
  • Martin A. LysakEmail author


Species-specific sets of chromosomes—karyotypes—are traditionally depicted as linear ideograms with individual chromosomes represented by vertical bars. However, linear visualization has its limitations when the shared collinearity and/or chromosomal rearrangements differentiating two or more karyotypes need to be demonstrated. In these instances, circular visualization might provide easier comprehension and interpretation of inter-species chromosomal collinearity. The chromDraw graphical tool was developed as a user-friendly graphical tool for visualizing both linear and circular karyotypes based on the same input data matrix. The output graphics, saved in two different formats (EPS and SVG), can be easily imported to and modified in presentation and image-editing computer programs. The tool is freely distributed under GNU General Public License (GPL) and can be installed from Bioconductor or from the chromDraw home page.


Visualization Chromosome Karyotype 



Browser Extensible Display


Programming language


Encapsulated PostScript


General Public License


Programming language and software environment


Ribosomal DNA


Red, green, blue


Scalable Vector Graphic



We thank Dr Terezie Mandáková and Petra Hloušková for helpful suggestions and comments on the functionality of the chromDraw package. Drs Matej Lexa and Jiří Hon are acknowledged for ideas on how to expand the package and for introduction to the R world, respectively. This research was supported by a grant from the Czech Science Foundation (P501/12/G090) and by European Social Fund (CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0189).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEITEC-Central European Institute of TechnologyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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