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Keywords:

  • macromolecular envelopes;
  • computer programs;
  • masks.

Macromolecular phase-refinement and phase-extension calculations using real-space electron-density averaging techniques require accurate envelopes (or masks) to define the boundaries of each domain or molecule whose density is to be averaged. An extensive set of tools, implemented in four computer programs (O, MAMA, COMA and MASKIT) are described which can be used to generate such envelopes (either from an atomic model or based on local density-correlation maps), to improve them, to remove overlap owing to crystallographic or non-crystallographic symmetry, to display them and to manipulate them in a variety of manners.