Aequatus: An open-source homology browser

Anil S. Thanki, Nicola Soranzo, Javier Herrero, Wilfried Haerty, Robert P. Davey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phylogenetic information inferred from the study of homologous genes helps us to understand the evolution of genes and gene families, including the identification of ancestral gene duplication events as well as regions under positive or purifying selection within lineages. Gene family and orthogroup characterization enables the identification of syntenic blocks, which can then be visualized with various tools. Unfortunately, currently available tools display only an overview of syntenic regions as a whole, limited to the gene level, and none provide further details about structural changes within genes, such as the conservation of ancestral exon boundaries amongst multiple genomes. Findings: We present Aequatus, an open-source web-based tool that provides an in-depth view of gene structure across gene families, with various options to render and filter visualizations. It relies on precalculated alignment and gene feature information typically held in, but not limited to, the Ensembl Compara and Core databases. We also offer Aequatus.js, a reusable JavaScript module that fulfills the visualization aspects of Aequatus, available within the Galaxy web platform as a visualization plug-in, which can be used to visualize gene trees generated by the Gene Seq To Family workflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018


  • alignment
  • gene family
  • homology
  • phylogeny
  • synteny
  • visualization

Cite this