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OMICS. 2006 Winter;10(4):455-73.

DNA microarray analyses in higher plants.

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Department of Plant Sciences, Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


DNA microarrays were originally devised and described as a convenient technology for the global analysis of plant gene expression. Over the past decade, their use has expanded enormously to cover all kingdoms of living organisms. At the same time, the scope of applications of microarrays has increased beyond expression analyses, with plant genomics playing a leadership role in the on-going development of this technology. As the field has matured, the rate-limiting step has moved from that of the technical process of data generation to that of data analysis. We currently face major problems in dealing with the accumulating datasets, not simply with respect to how to archive, access, and process the huge amounts of data that have been and are being produced, but also in determining the relative quality of the different datasets. A major recognized concern is the appropriate use of statistical design in microarray experiments, without which the datasets are rendered useless. A vigorous area of current research involves the development of novel statistical tools specifically for microarray experiments. This article describes, in a necessarily selective manner, the types of platforms currently employed in microarray research and provides an overview of recent activities using these platforms in plant biology.

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