Selection of biologically relevant genes from high dimensional expression data is a key research problem in gene expression genomics. Most of the available gene selection methods are either based on relevancy or redundancy measure, which are usually adjudged through post selection classification accuracy. Through these methods the ranking of genes was done on a single high-dimensional expression data, which leads to the selection of spuriously associated and redundant genes. Hence, we developed a statistical approach through combining Support Vector Machine with Maximum Relevance and Minimum Redundancy under a sound statistical setup for the selection of biologically relevant genes. Here, the genes are selected through statistical significance values computed using a non-parametric test statistic under a bootstrap based subject sampling model. Further, a systematic and rigorous evaluation of the proposed approach with nine existing competitive methods was carried on six different real crop gene expression datasets. This performance analysis was carried out under three comparison settings, i.e. subject classification, biological relevant criteria based on quantitative trait loci, and gene ontology. Our analytical results showed that the proposed approach selects genes that are more biologically relevant as compared to the existing methods. Moreover, the proposed approach was also found to be better with respect to the competitive existing methods. The proposed statistical approach provides a framework for combining filter, and wrapper methods of gene selection.
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