I-TASSER is an automated pipeline for protein tertiary structure prediction using multiple threading alignments and iterative structure assembly simulations. In CASP9 experiments, two new algorithms, QUARK and fragment-guided molecular dynamics (FG-MD), were added to the I-TASSER pipeline for improving the structural modeling accuracy. QUARK is a de novo structure prediction algorithm used for structure modeling of proteins that lack detectable template structures. For distantly homologous targets, QUARK models are found useful as a reference structure for selecting good threading alignments and guiding the I-TASSER structure assembly simulations. FG-MD is an atomic-level structural refinement program that uses structural fragments collected from the PDB structures to guide molecular dynamics simulation and improve the local structure of predicted model, including hydrogen-bonding networks, torsion angles, and steric clashes. Despite considerable progress in both the template-based and template-free structure modeling, significant improvements on protein target classification, domain parsing, model selection, and ab initio folding of β-proteins are still needed to further improve the I-TASSER pipeline. Proteins 2011; © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.