Chapter 4.1 General methods

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 4. Crystallization

  1. R. Giegé1,
  2. A. McPherson2

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000660

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Giegé, R. and McPherson, A. 2006. General methods. International Tables for Crystallography. F:4:4.1:81–93.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Unité Propre de Recherche du CNRS, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, 15 rue René Descartes, F‐67084 Strasbourg CEDEX, France

  2. 2

    Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92717, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006



Crystallization methods for biological macromolecules are described. The methods discussed apply for most proteins, large RNAs, multimacromolecular complexes and viruses. The chapter covers crystallization arrangements and methodologies, parameters that affect the crystallization of macromolecules, how to crystallize a new macromolecule, techniques for physical characterization of crystallization and the use of microgravity.


  • batch methods of crystallization;
  • crystal growth;
  • crystal quality;
  • crystal seeding;
  • crystallization;
  • crystallizing agents;
  • dialysis methods of crystallization;
  • gel acupuncture method;
  • crystallization in gels;
  • interface diffusion method of crystallization;
  • microgravity;
  • nucleation;
  • prenucleation;
  • vapour diffusion methods of crystallization