Owing to the development of brilliant microfocus beamlines, rapid-readout detectors and sample changers, protein microcrystallography is rapidly becoming a popular technique for accessing structural information from complex biological samples. However, the method is time-consuming and labor-intensive and requires technical expertise to obtain high-resolution protein crystal structures. At SPring-8, an automated data-collection system named ZOO has been developed. This system enables faster data collection, facilitates advanced data-collection and data-processing techniques, and permits the collection of higher quality data. In this paper, the key features of the functionality put in place on the SPring-8 microbeam beamline BL32XU are described and the major advantages of this system are outlined. The ZOO system will be a major driving force in the evolution of the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at SPring-8.
Keywords: ZOO; automated data collection; protein microcrystallography.