Motivation: Modern strategies for mapping disease loci require efficient genotyping of a large number of known polymorphic sites in the genome. The sensitive and high-throughput nature of hybridization-based DNA microarray technology provides an ideal platform for such an application by interrogating up to hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a single assay. Similar to the development of expression arrays, these genotyping arrays pose many data analytic challenges that are often platform specific. Affymetrix SNP arrays, e.g. use multiple sets of short oligonucleotide probes for each known SNP, and require effective statistical methods to combine these probe intensities in order to generate reliable and accurate genotype calls.
Results: We developed an integrated multi-SNP, multi-array genotype calling algorithm for Affymetrix SNP arrays, MAMS, that combines single-array multi-SNP (SAMS) and multi-array, single- SNP (MASS) calls to improve the accuracy of genotype calls, without the need for training data or computation-intensive normalization procedures as in other multi-array methods. The algorithm uses resampling techniques and model-based clustering to derive single array based genotype calls, which are subsequently refined by competitive genotype calls based on (MASS) clustering. The resampling scheme caps computation for single-array analysis and hence is readily scalable, important in view of expanding numbers of SNPs per array. The MASS update is designed to improve calls for atypical SNPs, harboring allele-imbalanced binding affinities, that are difficult to genotype without information from other arrays. Using a publicly available data set of HapMap samples from Affymetrix, and independent calls by alternative genotyping methods from the HapMap project, we show that our approach performs competitively to existing methods.