Subtomogram averaging

This section is still under construction and will be updated continously…….

Subtomogram averaging (also sometimes also referred to as Subvolume averaging or single-particle tomography)  can be performed if the tomogram contains multiple copies of the protein of interest.
Subtomogram averaging can help to:
a) obtain a higher resolution structure of the protein of interest
b) reveal information on the location, distribution and orientation of the protein of interest in its environment, e.g. the arrangement of viral proteins within the virus.

Below we show an example of what happens during subtomogram averaging.

Three representative subvolumes (a usual dataset can consist of several thousands of these small volumes) are aligned against a reference. The reference has been generated from averaging the subtomograms prior to any alignment.
With every iteration, the rotations and translations of the subtomograms are refined to achieve maximum correlation with reference. Eventually the rotations and the translations of the subtomograms will stabilize and the reference has changed to its final structure.