Application of Computerized Image Processing in Functional Genomics: Preliminary Results

N. Memarian, J. Alirezaie, and A. Golshani (Canada)


Image analysis, image processing, functional genomics, statistical measurements.


Recent strives in the developing field of functional genomics calls for computerized systems that are capable of providing accurate quantitative data for researchers in biology and genetics. In a current research, the biologists are interested in exploring the effect of various drugs on functionality of genes. Study of size change in drug treated colonies of yeast, implies information about those gene pathways that are affected by the drug. Here we report the development of an automated image analysis system, which is able to distinguish and extract true yeast colonies from other objects in a digital image, accurately measure their area, and provide a coordinate oriented map of colony areas. The developed system also executes post processing calculations and presents useful statistical parameters associated with corresponding colony pairs. For those experiments that were attempted multiple number of times, a precision test has been designed to monitor the level of harmony between the results of trials. Image processing techniques such as spatial adjustments, segmentation and region growing are utilized in the development of system. Preliminary results show that this automated system offers a significant improvement over the manual scoring of yeast plates.

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