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Open Access Methodology article

Microarray-based estimation of SNP allele-frequency in pooled DNA using the Langmuir kinetic model

Bin-Cheng Yin1, Honghua Li2 and Bang-Ce Ye1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Biosystems and Microanalysis, State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science & Technology, Shanghai, 200237, PR China

2 Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, SRB 110, 661 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:605  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-605

Published: 16 December 2008



High throughput genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genome-wide association requires technologies for generating millions of genotypes with relative ease but also at a reasonable cost and with high accuracy. In this work, we have developed a theoretical approach to estimate allele frequency in pooled DNA samples, based on the physical principles of DNA immobilization and hybridization on solid surface using the Langmuir kinetic model and quantitative analysis of the allelic signals.


This method can successfully distinguish allele frequencies differing by 0.01 in the actual pool of clinical samples, and detect alleles with a frequency as low as 2%. The accuracy of measuring known allele frequencies is very high, with the strength of correlation between measured and actual frequencies having an r2 = 0.9992. These results demonstrated that this method could allow the accurate estimation of absolute allele frequencies in pooled samples of DNA in a feasible and inexpensive way.


We conclude that this novel strategy for quantitative analysis of the ratio of SNP allelic sequences in DNA pools is an inexpensive and feasible alternative for detecting polymorphic differences in candidate gene association studies and genome-wide linkage disequilibrium scans.