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Deposited research article

The influence of RNA integrity, purity and cDNA labelling on glass slide cDNA microarray image quality

Dachuan Guo, Belinda Cutri and Daniel R Catchpoole*

Author Affiliations

The Tumour Bank, The Oncology Research Unit, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia

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Genome Biology 2004, 5:P13  doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-8-p13


This was the first version of this article to be made available publicly.


The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://genomebiology.com/2004/5/8/P13


Received:14 July 2004
Published:16 July 2004

© 2004 BioMed Central Ltd

Abstract

Background

The accuracy of gene expression measurements generated using cDNA microarrays is dependent on the quality of the image generated following hybridization of fluorescently labelled cDNA. It is not known how this image is influenced by sample preparation factors which such as RNA quality, cDNA synthesis and labelling efficiency.

Results

In this study we used a simple metric based on the ratio of the total feature (F) and background (B) fluorescence, which correlates with the visual assessment of 60 microarray images, to determine the influence of sample preparation on image quality. Results indicate that RNA purity (A260/A280) and integrity (18S:28S ratio) do not strongly influence microarray image quality. cDNA having an nucleotide to dye ratio greater than 100 produced poor microarray images, however, cDNA labelled more efficiently was not a guarantee of a better image. The data also indicate that the array image quality is not improved by loading more cDNA into the hybridization mixture however poor image quality did result from a disproportionate amounts of Cy5 and Cy3 labelled cDNA.

Conclusion

This study provides insight into the source of variation in microarray image analysis introduced during sample preparation and will assist in the standardisation of cDNA glass slide microarray protocols.

Deposited research article