Copy number variants are >1 kb genomic amplifications or deletions that can be identified using array platforms. However, arrays produce substantial background noise that contributes to high false discovery rates of variants. We hypothesized that quantitative PCR could finitely determine copy number and assess the validity of calling algorithms.
Using data from 29 Affymetrix SNP 6.0 arrays, we determined copy numbers using three programs: Partek Genomics Suite, Affymetrix Genotyping Console 2.0 and Birdsuite. We compared array calls at 25 chromosomal regions to those determined by qPCR and found nearly identical calls in regions of copy number 2. Conversely, agreement differed in regions called variant by at least one method. The highest overall agreement in calls, 91%, was between Birdsuite and quantitative PCR. Partek Genomics Suite calls agreed with quantitative PCR 76% of the time while the agreement of Affymetrix Genotyping Console 2.0 with quantitative PCR was 79%.
In 38 independent samples, 96% of Birdsuite calls agreed with quantitative PCR. Analysis of three copy number calling programs and quantitative PCR showed Birdsuite to have the greatest agreement with quantitative PCR.
Keywords: Copy number variation, Calling algorithm, PCR