Motivation: Comparisons of gene expression levels within and between species have become a central tool in the study of the genetic basis for phenotypic variation, as well as in the study of the evolution of gene regulation. DNA microarrays are a key technology that enables these studies. Currently, however, microarrays are only available for a small number of species. Thus, in order to study gene expression levels in species for which microarrays are not available, researchers face three sets of choices: (i) use a microarray designed for another species, but only compare gene expression levels within species, (ii) construct a new microarray for every species whose gene expression profiles will be compared or (iii) build a multi-species microarray with probes from each species of interest. Here, we use data collected using a multi-primate cDNA array to evaluate the reliability of each approach.Results: We find that, for inter-species comparisons, estimates of expression differences based on multi-species microarrays are more accurate than those based on multiple species-specific arrays. We also demonstrate that within-species expression differences can be estimated using a microarray for a closely related species, without discernible loss of information.Contact: A.O. (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Y.G. (email@example.com)Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Bioinformatics – Oxford University Press
Published: May 15, 2007
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