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Commun Stat Theory Methods. 2011 Sep 1;40(17):3055-3069.

An Exponential-Gamma Convolution Model for Background Correction of Illumina BeadArray Data.

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Center of Statistical Genomics and Proteomics, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, U.S.A.


Illumina BeadArrays are becoming an increasingly popular Microarray platform due to its high data quality and relatively low cost. One distinct feature of Illumina BeadArrays is that each array has thousands of negative control bead types containing oligonucleotide sequences that are not specific to any target genes in the genome. This design provides a way of directly estimating the distribution of the background noise. In the literature of background correction for BeadArray data, the information from negative control beads is either ignored, used in a naive way that can lead to a loss in efficiency, or the noise is assumed to be normally distributed. However, we show with real data that the noise can be skewed. In this study we propose an exponential-gamma convolution model for background correction of Illumina BeadArray data. Using both simulated and real data examples, we show that the proposed method can improve the signal estimation and detection of differentially expressed genes when the signal to noise ratio is large and the noise has a skewed distribution.

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