This study describes a method to estimate the likelihood of success in determining a macromolecular structure by X-ray crystallography and experimental single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) or multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) phasing based on initial data-processing statistics and sample crystal properties. Such a predictive tool can rapidly assess the usefulness of data and guide the collection of an optimal data set. The increase in data rates from modern macromolecular crystallography beamlines, together with a demand from users for real-time feedback, has led to pressure on computational resources and a need for smarter data handling. Statistical and machine-learning methods have been applied to construct a classifier that displays 95% accuracy for training and testing data sets compiled from 440 solved structures. Applying this classifier to new data achieved 79% accuracy. These scores already provide clear guidance as to the effective use of computing resources and offer a starting point for a personalized data-collection assistant.
Vollmar Melanie, Parkhurst James M, Jaques Dominic, Baslé Arnaud, Murshudov Garib N, Waterman David G, Evans Gwyndaf
X-ray crystallography, experimental phasing, machine learning, macromolecular crystallography, phasing, structure determination