A Novel Statistical Method to Diagnose, Quantify and Correct Batch Effects in Genomic Studies.

Gift Nyamundanda, Pawan Poudel, Yatish Patil, Anguraj Sadanandam,

Scientific reports, September 8, 2017

Genome projects now generate large-scale data often produced at various time points by different laboratories using multiple platforms. This increases the potential for batch effects. Currently there are several batch evaluation methods like principal component analysis (PCA; mostly based on visual inspection), and sometimes they fail to reveal all of the underlying batch effects. These methods can also lead to the risk of unintentionally correcting biologically interesting factors attributed to batch effects. Here we propose a novel statistical method, finding batch effect (findBATCH), to evaluate batch effect based on probabilistic principal component and covariates analysis (PPCCA). The same framework also provides a new approach to batch correction, correcting batch effect (correctBATCH), which we have shown to be a better approach to traditional PCA-based correction. We demonstrate the utility of these methods using two different examples (breast and colorectal cancers) by merging gene expression data from different studies after diagnosing and correcting for batch effects and retaining the biological effects. These methods, along with conventional visual inspection-based PCA, are available as a part of an R package exploring batch effect (exploBATCH; https://github.com/syspremed/exploBATCH ).

Pubmed Link: 28883548

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11110-6