Viruses at High Resolution

We are collaborating with Stephen Harrison (HHMI, Harvard Medical School) to use virus particles as test specimens to develop better single particle image-processing methods. Virus particles have a high degree of symmetry and are stable in an aqueous solution, making them ideal for EM imaging.

We have used rotavirus particles to determine a structure of several of the capsid proteins to a resolution of 3.8 Å (Figure) [1][2]. Rotavirus is also a good particle to investigate current limitations in cryo-EM, such as beam-induced motion, and to develop and test new image processing methods, such as motion correction [3][4][5][6][7][8].

Furthermore, we use helical viruses, such as TMV [9], to test new algorithms for helical particle processing.