Ab initio maximum likelihood reconstruction from cryo electron microscopy images of an infectious virion of the tailed bacteriophage P22 and maximum likelihood versions of Fourier Shell Correlation appropriate for measuring resolution of spherical or cylindrical objects

J Struct Biol. 2009 Sep;167(3):185-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 18.


A maximum likelihood reconstruction method for an asymmetric reconstruction of the infectious P22 bacteriophage virion is described and demonstrated on a subset of the images used in [Lander, G.C., Tang, L., Casjens, S.R., Gilcrease, E.B., Prevelige, P., Poliakov, A., Potter, C.S., Carragher, B., Johnson, J.E., 2006. The structure of an infectious P22 virion shows the signal for headful DNA packaging. Science 312(5781), 1791-1795]. The method makes no assumptions at any stage regarding the structure of the phage tail or the relative rotational orientation of the phage tail and capsid but rather the structure and the rotation angle are determined as a part of the analysis. A statistical method for determining resolution consistent with maximum likelihood principles based on ideas for cylinders analogous to the ideas for spheres that are embedded in the Fourier Shell Correlation method is described and demonstrated on the P22 reconstruction. With a correlation threshold of .95, the resolution in the tail measured radially is greater than 0.0301A(-1) (33.3A) and measured axially is greater than 0.0142A(-1) (70.6A) both with probability p=0.02.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage P22 / ultrastructure*
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Virion / ultrastructure*