Forum 12/05/2002

“Automatic Particle Picking: A Challenging Problem”

Yuanxin Zhu, Staff Scientist – Automated Molecular Imaging Group, The Scripps Research Insitute, La Jolla, CA

Manual selection of single particles in images acquired using cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) will become a significant bottleneck when a very large number of images are required to achieve three-dimensional reconstructions at near atomic resolution.
Investigation of fast, accurate approaches for automated particle detection has become one of the current challenges in the cryoEM community.  At the same time, the investigation is hampered by the fact that few benchmark particles or image datasets exist in the community.
The unavailability of such data makes it difficult to evaluate newly developed algorithms and to leverage expertise from other disciplines.
This talk presents our recent contribution to this effort, including a newly developed approach for particle detection, using keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) as a model particle, and setting up a web site to make an annotated image dataset of KLH available to the general scientific community.