A method for the alignment of heterogeneous macromolecules from electron microscopy Academic Article uri icon


  • We propose a feature-based image alignment method for single-particle electron microscopy that is able to accommodate various similarity scoring functions while efficiently sampling the two-dimensional transformational space. We use this image alignment method to evaluate the performance of a scoring function that is based on the Mutual Information (MI) of two images rather than one that is based on the cross-correlation function. We show that alignment using MI for the scoring function has far less model-dependent bias than is found with cross-correlation based alignment. We also demonstrate that MI improves the alignment of some types of heterogeneous data, provided that the signal-to-noise ratio is relatively high. These results indicate, therefore, that use of MI as the scoring function is well suited for the alignment of class-averages computed from single-particle images. Our method is tested on data from three model structures and one real dataset.

publication date

  • April 2009