Assessing and maximizing data quality in macromolecular crystallography

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2015 Oct;34:60-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Jul 24.


The quality of macromolecular crystal structures depends, in part, on the quality and quantity of the data used to produce them. Here, we review recent shifts in our understanding of how to use data quality indicators to select a high resolution cutoff that leads to the best model, and of the potential to greatly increase data quality through the merging of multiple measurements from multiple passes of single crystals or from multiple crystals. Key factors supporting this shift are the introduction of more robust correlation coefficient based indicators of the precision of merged data sets as well as the recognition of the substantial useful information present in extensive amounts of data once considered too weak to be of value.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray / methods*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray / standards*
  • Data Accuracy*
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio


  • Macromolecular Substances