High-throughput cell-based phenotypic screening has become an increasingly important technology for discovering new drug targets and assigning gene function. Such experiments use hundreds of 96-well or 384-well plates in order to cover whole-genome RNAi collections and/or chemical compound files, and often collect measurements that are sensitive to spatial background noise patterns that can vary across individual plates. Correcting these position effects can substantially improve measurement accuracy and screening success.
We developed SbacHTS (Spatial background noise correction for High-Throughput RNAi Screening) software for visualization, estimation, and correction of spatial background noise in HT-RNAi screens. SbacHTS is supported on the Galaxy open source framework with a user-friendly open access web interface.
We find that SbacHTS software can effectively detect and correct spatial background noise, increase signal to noise ratio, and increase statistical detection power in high-throughput RNAi screening experiments.