Journal of East China Normal University(Natural Sc ›› 2019, Vol. 2019 ›› Issue (1): 124-135,143.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1000-5641.2019.01.014

• Life Science • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Application of R language graphics in biological research

LAN Yang, HE Xiu, ZHU Cheng-xu, ZHANG Yu-juan   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China
  • Received:2017-12-06 Online:2019-01-25 Published:2019-01-24

Abstract: The R programming language offers powerful statistical analysis, data processing, and visualization capabilities, which can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems; the software allows users to show scientific research data through graphics by writing new code or adjusting existing code. However, it is difficult to learn R's programming code and use R packages, so R is not commonly favored by novices in the scientific research community. Based on the context of bioscience fields and data from published papers, public databases, and the National Bureau of Statistics, this study demonstrates how to plot high quality maps, heat maps, functional networks, Venn diagrams, and column charts using R, R Studio, and R-packages. To facilitate the use of R, we offer detailed scripts for biological researchers. After comparing R with other graphing software, this study provides good examples and discussions of how to reasonably and intuitively present results in biological research. We hope R will become the preferred plotting tool for elementary biological researchers in their learning and research activities.

Key words: map, heat map, functional network, Venn diagram, column chart, R language

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