Quantitative RNA expression analysis with Affymetrix Tiling 1.0R arrays identifies new E2F target genes.
(Plant J. 2009)

The Affymetrix ATH1 array provides a robust standard tool for transcriptome analysis, but unfortunately does not represent all of the transcribed genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Recently, Affymetrix has introduced its Arabidopsis Tiling 1.0R array, which offers whole-genome coverage of the sequenced Col-0 reference strain. Here, we present an approach to exploit this platform for quantitative mRNA expression analysis, and compare the results with those obtained using ATH1 arrays. We also propose a method for selecting unique tiling probes for each annotated gene or transcript in the most current genome annotation, TAIR7, generating Chip Definition Files for the Tiling 1.0R array. As a test case, we compared the transcriptome of wild-type plants with that of transgenic plants overproducing the heterodimeric E2Fa-DPa transcription factor. We show that with the appropriate data pre-processing, the estimated changes per gene for those with significantly different expression levels is very similar for the two array types. With the tiling arrays we could identify 368 new E2F-regulated genes, with a large fraction including an E2F motif in the promoter. The latter groups increase the number of excellent candidates for new, direct E2F targets by almost twofold, from 181 to 334.