Software for the high-throughput collection of SAXS data using an enhanced Blu-Ice/DCS control system

J Synchrotron Radiat. 2010 Nov;17(6):774-81. doi: 10.1107/S0909049510028566. Epub 2010 Sep 3.


Biological small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) provides powerful complementary data for macromolecular crystallography (MX) by defining shape, conformation and assembly in solution. Although SAXS is in principle the highest throughput technique for structural biology, data collection is limited in practice by current data collection software. Here the adaption of beamline control software, historically developed for MX beamlines, for the efficient operation and high-throughput data collection at synchrotron SAXS beamlines is reported. The Blu-Ice GUI and Distributed Control System (DCS) developed in the Macromolecular Crystallography Group at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory has been optimized, extended and enhanced to suit the specific needs of the biological SAXS endstation at the SIBYLS beamline at the Advanced Light Source. The customizations reported here provide a potential route for other SAXS beamlines in need of robust and efficient beamline control software. As a great deal of effort and optimization has gone into crystallographic software, the adaption and extension of crystallographic software may prove to be a general strategy to provide advanced SAXS software for the synchrotron community. In this way effort can be put into optimizing features for SAXS rather than reproducing those that have already been successfully implemented for the crystallographic community.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods*
  • Scattering, Small Angle*
  • Software*
  • Synchrotrons