Spurious spatial periodicity of co-expression in microarray data due to printing design

Gábor Balázsi, Krin A. Kay, Albert László Barabási, Zoltán N. Oltvai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Global transcriptome data is increasingly combined with sophisticated mathematical analyses to extract information about the functional state of a cell. Yet the extent to which the results reflect experimental bias at the expense of true biological information remains largely unknown. Here we show that the spatial arrangement of probes on microarrays and the particulars of the printing procedure significantly affect the log-ratio data of mRNA expression levels measured during the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle. We present a numerical method that filters out these technology-derived contributions from the existing transcriptome data, leading to improved functional predictions. The example presented here underlines the need to routinely search and compensate for inherent experimental bias when analyzing systematically collected, internally consistent biological data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4425-4433
Number of pages9
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


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