Application of stellar photometry to the analysis of microarray images

Mahyar Sabripour, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Improvements in the analysis of microarray images are critical for accurately quantifying gene expression levels. The acquisition of accurate spot intensities directly influences the results and interpretation of statistical analyses. This dissertation discusses the implementation of a novel approach to the analysis of cDNA microarray images. We use a stellar photometric model, the Moffat function, to quantify microarray spots from nylon microarray images. The inherent flexibility of the Moffat shape model makes it ideal for quantifying microarray spots. We apply our novel approach to a Wilms' tumor microarray study and compare our results with a fixed-circle segmentation approach for spot quantification. Our results suggest that different spot feature extraction methods can have an impact on the ability of statistical methods to identify differentially expressed genes. We also used the Moffat function to simulate a series of microarray images under various experimental conditions. These simulations were used to validate the performance of various statistical methods for identifying differentially expressed genes. Our simulation results indicate that tests taking into account the dependency between mean spot intensity and variance estimation, such as the smoothened t-test, can better identify differentially expressed genes, especially when the number of replicates and mean fold change are low. The analysis of the simulations also showed that overall, a rank sum test (Mann-Whitney) performed well at identifying differentially expressed genes. Previous work has suggested the strengths of nonparametric approaches for identifying differentially expressed genes. We also show that multivariate approaches, such as hierarchical and k-means cluster analysis along with principal components analysis, are only effective at classifying samples when replicate numbers and mean fold change are high. Finally, we show how our stellar shape model approach can be extended to the analysis of 2D-gel images by adapting the Moffat function to take into account the elliptical nature of spots in such images. Our results indicate that stellar shape models offer a previously unexplored approach for the quantification of 2D-gel spots.

Subject Area

Biostatistics|Genetics|Biomedical research

Recommended Citation

Sabripour, Mahyar, "Application of stellar photometry to the analysis of microarray images" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3168446.