The exponential increase of image data in high-resolution reconstructions by electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) has posed a need for efficient data management solutions in addition to powerful data processing procedures. Although relational databases and web portals are commonly used to manage sequences and structures in biological research, their application in cryoEM has been limited due to the complexity in accomplishing the dual tasks of interacting with proprietary software and simultaneously providing data access to users without database knowledge. Here, we report our results in developing web portal to SQL image databases used by the Image Management and Icosahedral Reconstruction System (IMIRS) to manage cryoEM images for subnanometer-resolution reconstructions. Fundamental issues related to the design and deployment of web portals to image databases are described. A web browser-based user interface was designed to accomplish data reporting and other database-related services, including user authentication, data entry, graph-based data mining, and various query and reporting tasks with interactive image manipulation capabilities. With an integrated web portal, IMIRS represents the first cryoEM application that incorporates both web-based data reporting tools and a complete set of data processing modules. Our examples should thus provide general guidelines applicable to other cryoEM technology development efforts.
Journal of Structural Biology – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2003
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