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The crystallographic analysis of viruses goes back to the early days of the development of crystallography. Due to their large size and relative complexity (compared to more simple proteins) the analysis of virus crystals has often driven the methodological, technological and computational advances in X-ray crystallography. These developments have led to a huge increase in the number of virus structures solved at close to atomic resolution. Whilst electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) is now the predominant method for virus capsid structure determination, crystallography still has advantages in terms of speed and ease. This article will review where virus crystallography has come from, the methodology, and some thoughts on the future direction of travel for the structural analysis of viruses.

Original publication





Book title

Encyclopedia of Virology: Volume 1-5, Fourth Edition

Publication Date





199 - 207