Genotyping platforms such as Affymetrix can be used to assess genotype-phenotype as well as copy number-phenotype associations at millions of markers. While genotyping algorithms are largely concordant when assessed on HapMap samples, tools to assess copy number changes are more variable and often discordant. One explanation for the discordance is that copy number estimates are susceptible to systematic differences between groups of samples that were processed at different times or by different labs. Analysis algorithms that do not adjust for batch effects are prone to spurious measures of association. The R package crlmm implements a multilevel model that adjusts for batch effects and provides allele-specific estimates of copy number. This paper illustrates a workflow for the estimation of allele-specific copy number, develops markerand study-level summaries of batch effects, and demonstrates how the marker-level estimates can be integrated with complimentary Bioconductor software for inferring regions of copy number gain or loss. All analyses are performed in the statistical environment R. A compendium for reproducing the analysis is available from the author’s website (http://www.biostat.jhsph.edu/~rscharpf/crlmmCompendium/index.html).


Bioinformatics | Computational Biology