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Switching Between Supported Formats

Symbolic notation provides a compact, simpler to visualise, approach for describing complex glycans and contextually provides an efficient, easier to understand means for annotating complex datasets.



By default the hybrid CFG/Essentials with linkage format is set for displaying structures in UniCarbKB

Step-by-step guide

  1. To convert between the ‘CFG/Essentials’, ‘Oxford’ and ‘Text’ formats users can select an option in the ‘Structure Format’ sidebar panel. 

The viewing symbol preference will be retained for the session – the duration of the time spent on the website.


Unfortunately, to date no standard notation exists for the representation of complex glycan structures and many different types of symbols and conventions can be found in the literature. Examples of cartoons are the representation scheme developed by the "Essentials of Glycobiology" textbook editors (and adopted by the CFG) and the scheme developed by the Oxford Glycobiology Institute. A combination of both these formats in which the linkages are depicted as angles as in the Oxford scheme, on the coloured residue symbols of the 'Essentials in Glycobiology' scheme, is gaining acceptance and is supported by the UniCarb suite of tools and databases (and other databases).