Sequence logos: a new way to display consensus sequences

Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Oct 25;18(20):6097-100. doi: 10.1093/nar/18.20.6097.


A graphical method is presented for displaying the patterns in a set of aligned sequences. The characters representing the sequence are stacked on top of each other for each position in the aligned sequences. The height of each letter is made proportional to its frequency, and the letters are sorted so the most common one is on top. The height of the entire stack is then adjusted to signify the information content of the sequences at that position. From these 'sequence logos', one can determine not only the consensus sequence but also the relative frequency of bases and the information content (measured in bits) at every position in a site or sequence. The logo displays both significant residues and subtle sequence patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence*
  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics
  • Base Sequence*
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Globins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • T-Phages / enzymology
  • T-Phages / genetics


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Globins
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases