Info Page Image Descriptions

Surface rendering of the virus particle (top left): This is a surface rendering of the capsid based on the atomic coordinates created using the TexMol software ( The colors are depth cued along a color gradient: yellow at a larger radius, and greenish blue as the radius decreases. This rendering is designed to give an impression similar to that of a cryo electron microscopy reconstruction at 10 Å resolution. The surface topology is readily seen with large-scale features such as "canyons", "mountain tops", and distinctive morphological units (e.g. hexamers and pentamers) readily visible. It is convenient to compare virus particles with this rendering because if you click on the image, an image appears that is scaled with all other viruses that are presented in the site. Thus it is possible to create a gallery of viruses that are scaled to each other by combining these images for all the viruses. Visit Gallery Maker to easily create such a gallery.

Ribbon drawing of the subunit(s) and Icos. asymmetric unit (lower left): A ribbon drawing is provided for each of the unique gene products in the viral capsid. For a quasi-equivalent virus made of multiple copies of a single gene product, only one of the copies is shown. For picornavirus and related capsids there will be three ß sandwich domains. The ribbon drawings are colored with tones changing continuously through the spectrum from blue at the N-terminus to red at the C-terminus. Strands of ß-sheets are depicted as arrows pointing in the direction of increasing sequence and helices are formed as coiled ribbons. Regions without a distinct secondary structure are depicted as a tube.

Schematic description of the capsid in the context of an icosahedral lattice(upper right): All of the viral capsids in this database display icosahedral symmetry. Some of the particles have the shape of an icosahedron, while others conform to the shape of other geometric solids that display icosahedral symmetry. These may include a truncated icosahedron, a rhombic triacontahedron, or a dodecahedron. This figure shows a CA trace of the subunits illustrating the shape of the subunit in the context of an icosahedral lattice superposed on it. In addition, each subunit is identified by a number (e..g, A1, B2, ..) for the purposes of calculations of association energies and inter-subunit contacts. The fidelity of some viruses to these shapes is remarkable with dihedral angles between subunits conforming to within experimental error to the dihedral angles required to form the geometric solid.

Subunit organization, shown as tube representation of the subunits (bottom right): This drawing shows the detailed association of subunit C-alpha backbones to illustrate the dominant interactions within the particle. Different types of subunits are shown in different colors.

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