Combinatorial image analysis of DNA microarray features


MOTIVATION DNA and protein microarrays have become an established leading-edge technology for large-scale analysis of gene and protein content and activity. Contact-printed microarrays has emerged as a relatively simple and cost effective method of choice but its reliability is especially susceptible to quality of pixel information obtained from digital scans of spotted features in the microarray image. RESULTS We address the statistical computation requirements for optimizing data acquisition and processing of digital scans. We consider the use of median filters to reduce noise levels in images and top-hat filters to correct for trends in background values. We also consider, as alternative estimators of spot intensity, discs of fixed radius, proportions of histograms and k-means clustering, either with or without a square-root intensity transformation and background subtraction. We identify, using combinatoric procedures, optimal filter and estimator parameters, in achieving consistency among the replicates of a gene on each microarray. Our results, using test data from microarrays of HCMV, indicate that a highly effective approach for improving reliability and quality of microarray data is to apply a 21 by 21 top-hat filter, then estimate spot intensity as the mean of the largest 20% of pixel values in the target region, after a square-root transformation, and corrected for background, by subtracting the mean of the smallest 70% of pixel values. AVAILABILITY Fortran90 subroutines implementing these methods are available from the authors, or at

DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/19.2.194

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@article{Glasbey2003CombinatorialIA, title={Combinatorial image analysis of DNA microarray features}, author={Chris A. Glasbey and Peter Ghazal}, journal={Bioinformatics}, year={2003}, volume={19 2}, pages={194-203} }