Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Solutions Using R and Bioconductor

Part of the series Statistics for Biology and Health pp 13-32

Preprocessing High-density Oligonucleotide Arrays

  • B. M. Bolstad
  • , R. A. Irizarry
  • , L. Gautier
  • , Z. Wu

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High-density oligonucleotide expression arrays are a widely used microarray platform. Affymetrix GeneChip arrays dominate this market. An important distinction between the GeneChip and other technologies is that on GeneChips, multiple short probes are used to measure gene expression levels. This makes preprocessing particularly important when using this platform. This chapter begins by describing how to import probe-level data into the system and how these data can be examined using the facilities of the AffyBatch class. Then we will describe background adjustment, normalization, and summarization methods. Functionality for GeneChip probe-level data is provided by the affy, affyPLM, affycomp, gcrma, and affypdnn packages. All these tools are useful for preprocessing probe-level data stored in an AffyBatch object into expression-level data stored in an exprSet object. Because there are many competing methods for this preprocessing step, it is useful to have a way to assess the differences. In Bioconductor, this can be carried out using the affycomp package, which we discuss briefly.