Chapter 14.1 Heavy-atom location and phase determination with single-wavelength diffraction data

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 14. Anomalous dispersion

  1. B. W. Matthews

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000685

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Matthews, B. W. 2006. Heavy-atom location and phase determination with single-wavelength diffraction data. International Tables for Crystallography. F:14:14.1:293–298.

Author Information

  1. Institute of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006


The information from anomalous scattering and isomorphous replacement are complementary. Ways in which these two sources of information can be combined to facilitate the determination of the crystal structures of macromolecules are reviewed. The use of a single isomorphous replacement leads to an ambiguous phase determination, but this ambiguity can be resolved by incorporation of data from anomalous scattering. Likewise, information from isomorphous replacement and anomalous scattering can be combined to assist in the location of heavy atoms.


  • Blow & Crick method;
  • anomalous scattering;
  • best Fourier;
  • difference Fourier syntheses for heavy-atom location;
  • heavy-atom location;
  • isomorphous replacement;
  • MIR;
  • multiple isomorphous replacement;
  • phase probability distributions;
  • phasing;
  • single isomorphous replacement;
  • SIR