• Bayesian inference;
  • Gibbs sampler;
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation;
  • Metropolis–Hastings algorithm;
  • Peptide

Summary.  Phage display is a biological process that is used to screen random peptide libraries for ligands that bind to a target of interest with high affinity. On the basis of a count data set from an innovative multistage phage display experiment, we propose a class of Bayesian mixture models to cluster peptide counts into three groups that exhibit different display patterns across stages. Among the three groups, the investigators are particularly interested in that with an ascending display pattern in the counts, which implies that the peptides are likely to bind to the target with strong affinity. We apply a Bayesian false discovery rate approach to identify the peptides with the strongest affinity within the group. A list of peptides is obtained, among which important ones with meaningful functions are further validated by biologists. To examine the performance of the Bayesian model, we conduct a simulation study and obtain desirable results.