Fernandez, J.-J. & Li, S. TomoAlign: A novel approach to correcting sample motion and 3D CTF in CryoET. J. Structural Biology, 2021, 213, 107778
TomoAlign is a software package that integrates tools to mitigate two important resolution limiting factors in cryoET, namely the beam-induced sample motion and the contrast transfer function (CTF) of the microscope. The package is especially focused on cryoET of thick specimens where fiducial markers are required for accurate tilt-series alignment and sample motion estimation. TomoAlign models the beam-induced sample motion undergone during the tilt-series acquisition. The motion models are used to produce motion-corrected subtilt-series centered on the particles of interest. In addition, the defocus of each particle at each tilt image is determined and can be corrected, resulting in motion-corrected and CTF-corrected subtilt-series from which the subtomograms can be computed. Alternatively, the CTF information can be passed on so that CTF correction can be carried out entirely within external packages like Relion. TomoAlign serves as a versatile tool that can streamline the cryoET workflow from initial alignment of tilt-series to final subtomogram averaging during in situ structure determination.