Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

Volume 20, Part 1 (January 2013)


radiation damage



J. Synchrotron Rad. (2013). 20, 14-22    [ doi:10.1107/S0909049512049114 ]

A survey of global radiation damage to 15 different protein crystal types at room temperature: a new decay model

R. M. F. Leal, G. Bourenkov, S. Russi and A. N. Popov

Abstract: The radiation damage rates to crystals of 15 model macromolecular structures were studied using an automated radiation sensitivity characterization procedure. The diffracted intensity variation with dose is described by a two-parameter model. This model includes a strong resolution-independent decay specific to room-temperature measurements along with a linear increase in overall Debye-Waller factors. An equivalent representation of sensitivity via a single parameter, normalized half-dose, is introduced. This parameter varies by an order of magnitude between the different structures studied. The data show a correlation of crystal radiation sensitivity with crystal solvent content but no dose-rate dependency was detected in the range 0.05-300 kGy s-1. The results of the crystal characterization are suitable for either optimal planning of room-temperature data collection or in situ crystallization plate screening experiments.

Keywords: radiation damage; room temperature; X-ray diffraction; data collection.


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