TGAC Browser

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visualisation solutions for big data in the genomic era

Xingdong Bian
Robert Davey

We present the TGAC Browser with novel rendering, annotation and analysis capabilities designed to overcome the shortcomings in available approaches. TGAC Browser, being a web-based client, utilises JavaScript libraries to provide a fast and intuitive genome browsing experience. We focus on harnessing Internet architectures as well as localised HPC hardware, concentrating on improved, more productive interfaces and analytical capabilities.

  • User-friendly: Live data searching, track modification, and drag and drop selection; actions that are seamlessly powered by modern web browser
  • Responsiveness: Client-side rendering and caching, based on JSON fragments generated by server logic, helps decrease the server load and improves user experience
    • TGAC Browser visualises genomic data in different ways, based on the type and amount of data, which is more informative to the user and memory efficien
  • Analysis Integration: The ability to carry out heavyweight analysis tasks, using tools such as BLAST, via a dedicated extensible daemon
  • Annotation: Users can edit annotations which can be persisted on the server, reloaded, and shared at a later date
  • Off-the-shelf Installation: The only prerequisites are a web application container, such as Jetty or Tomcat, and a standard Ensembl database to host sequence features
  • Extensible: Adaptable modular design to enable interfacing with other databases, e.g. GMOD
  • Data format: TGAC Browser processes and visualises data directly from the Ensembl core schema as well as next-generation sequencing (NGS) data output, i.e. BAM/SAM, BigWig/wig, GFF, and VCF.
  • Manual Annotation: Live editing of Genomics annotations within TGAC Browser, saved with versions and can be reverted, exported in Genomics data format for curator to edit datasets (Under development).


Source Code:


Release Date:
May, 2013
Data type:
Web based
Java, JavaScript, MySQL, HTML, CSS
Android, IOS, Linux, Mac OSX, Windows
Tomcat, MySQL

Project development

Institution: Earlham Institute