VARNA: Interactive drawing and editing of the RNA secondary structure

Bioinformatics. 2009 Aug 1;25(15):1974-5. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btp250. Epub 2009 Apr 27.


Description: VARNA is a tool for the automated drawing, visualization and annotation of the secondary structure of RNA, designed as a companion software for web servers and databases.

Features: VARNA implements four drawing algorithms, supports input/output using the classic formats dbn, ct, bpseq and RNAML and exports the drawing as five picture formats, either pixel-based (JPEG, PNG) or vector-based (SVG, EPS and XFIG). It also allows manual modification and structural annotation of the resulting drawing using either an interactive point and click approach, within a web server or through command-line arguments.

Availability: VARNA is a free software, released under the terms of the GPLv3.0 license and available at

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Databases, Factual
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • Software*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • RNA