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Appl Theor Electrophor. 1993;3(3-4):163-72.

Splitting merged spots in two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gel images.

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National Cancer Institute, FCRDC, Frederick, MD 21702.


We describe a heuristic computer algorithm using boundary analysis for improving spot finding and spot quantitation of large saturated or near-saturated spots in two-dimensional polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels. This spot quantitation is done using spot segmentation, which consists of spot finding and subsequent quantification steps. Occasionally, clusters of large saturated spots may become merged during spot finding. To correct this, the merged spots must be cut apart before quantitation. It is generally obvious from viewing the merged spot's border where they should be cut--at opposing saddlepoints (concavities in the boundary). The algorithm uses an analysis of the missegmented spot's boundary when a saturated spot is detected. If a near-saturated spot is larger than a given size, the spot segmenter program attempts to merge saturated fragments. When merging occurs, the segmenter program analyses the boundary to see if the spot should be split. The new algorithm first finds all robust concavities and then tries to match complementary ones. These paired concavities are then used to guide cutting of the missegmented spot into two or more separate spot regions. Finally, control is returned to the segmenter program to reprocess the data as a set of smaller separated spots.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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