Merging of data from multiple crystals has proven to be useful for determination of the anomalously scattering atomic substructure for crystals with weak anomalous scatterers ( e.g. S and P) and/or poor diffraction. Strategies for merging data from many samples, which require assessment of sample isomorphism, rely on metrics of variability in unit-cell parameters, anomalous signal correlation and overall data similarity. Local scaling, anomalous signal optimization and data-set weighting, implemented in phenix.scale_and_merge , provide an efficient protocol for merging data from many samples. The protein NS1 was used in a series of trials with data collected from 28 samples for phasing by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction of the native S atoms. The local-scaling, anomalous-optimization protocol produced merged data sets with higher anomalous signal quality indicators than did standard global-scaling protocols. The local-scaled data were also more successful in substructure determination. Merged data quality was assessed for data sets where the multiplicity was reduced in either of two ways: by excluding data from individual crystals (to reduce errors owing to non-isomorphism) or by excluding the last-recorded segments of data from each crystal (to minimize the effects of radiation damage). The anomalous signal was equivalent at equivalent multiplicity for the two procedures, and structure-determination success correlated with anomalous signal metrics. The quality of the anomalous signal was strongly correlated with data multiplicity over a range of 12-fold to 150-fold multiplicity. For the NS1 data, the local-scaling and anomalous-optimization protocol handled sample non-isomorphism and radiation-induced decay equally well.
Akey, D. L., Terwilliger, T. C., & Smith, J. L. (2016). Efficient merging of data from multiple samples for determination of anomalous substructure. Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology, 72(3), 296–302. https://doi.org/10.1107/s2059798315021920