In molecular biology, microarray technology is widely and successfully utilized to efficiently measure gene activity.
If working with less studied organisms, methods to design custom-made microarray probes are available.
One design criterion is to select probes with minimal melting temperature variances thus ensuring similar hybridization properties.
If the microarray application focuses on the investigation of metabolic pathways, it is not necessary to cover the whole genome.
It is more efficient to cover each metabolic pathway with a limited number of genes.
Firstly, an approach is presented which minimizes the overall melting temperature variance of selected probes for all genes of interest.
Secondly, the approach is extended to include the additional constraints of covering all pathways with a limited number of genes while minimizing the overall variance.
The new optimization problem is solved by a bottom-up programming approach which reduces the complexity to make it computationally feasible.
The new method is exemplarily applied for the selection of microarray probes in order to cover all fungal secondary metabolite gene clusters for Aspergillus terreus.
Horn F and Guthke R: Probe selection for pathway-specific microarray probe design minimizing melting temperature variance. Proceedings ICBCBBE 2012