Woolford, D.; Ericksson, G.; Rothnagel, R.; Muller, D.; Landsberg, M. J.; Pantelic, R. S.; McDowall, A.; Pailthorpe, B.; Young, P. R.; Hankamer, B. & Banks, J. SwarmPS: rapid, semi-automated single particle selection software. J Struct Biol, 2007, 157, 174-188
Single particle analysis (SPA) coupled with high-resolution electron cryo-microscopy is emerging as a powerful technique for the structure determination of membrane protein complexes and soluble macromolecular assemblies. Current estimates suggest that approximately 10(4)-10(5) particle projections are required to attain a 3A resolution 3D reconstruction (symmetry dependent). Selecting this number of molecular projections differing in size, shape and symmetry is a rate-limiting step for the automation of 3D image reconstruction. Here, we present Swarm(PS), a feature rich GUI based software package to manage large scale, semi-automated particle picking projects. The software provides cross-correlation and edge-detection algorithms. Algorithm-specific parameters are transparently and automatically determined through user interaction with the image, rather than by trial and error. Other features include multiple image handling (approximately 10(2)), local and global particle selection options, interactive image freezing, automatic particle centering, and full manual override to correct false positives and negatives. Swarm(PS) is user friendly, flexible, extensible, fast, and capable of exporting boxed out projection images, or particle coordinates, compatible with downstream image processing suites.