I am using Gviz to plot several tracks. I create a GenomeAxisTrack() and then several AnnotationTrack()s that I feed to plotTracks(). This produces a stacked output of tracks with annotated arrows as I want but the displays are linear. In some cases I have the complete genomes and I know they are circular (like some bacterial and viral chromosomes), how can I display the plots as circular?

I tried feeding to AnnotationTrack(); a GRanges() object with a Seqinfo() object specifying the isCircular=TRUE flag, but this didn't change the resulting plot.

Here is minimal code to create a linear plot, I would like one where the first and last arrow join up in a circle:


track <- AnnotationTrack(start=c(1,5,7), end=c(2,6,10), strand=c('+','+','-'), stacking="dense", fill=c('red','blue', 'black'))
png(file=paste("test","png", sep="."))

enter image description here

Note, I am not interested in alternative software recommendations, I would like to solve this with gviz if it is possible. Also asked this here.

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    $\begingroup$ I would be amazed if there were a way to do that. $\endgroup$
    – Devon Ryan
    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ @DevonRyan why? i have use cases, but i'm not very familiar with gviz and its implementation $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2018 at 10:28
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    $\begingroup$ For track-based plots you would pretty much have to set it up for circular plotting from the very beginning in order for it to work. I'm aware that there are use-cases, but given where gviz was developed and the use-cases there it would be surprising if circular genomes were a consideration during development. $\endgroup$
    – Devon Ryan
    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


The primary author of Gviz confirmed to me via email that this is not possible:

Gviz will only give you the traditional linear tracks. There are a bunch of solutions available for visualizing circular genomes, most of which are more interactive in nature and not implemented in the rather static R graphics context. GGplot2 has some support for circular axes, too. If you want to stay within the R environment I’d start there. Ggbio is another option providing a somewhat higher-level interface.


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