Image of the week: Quasicrystalline structure of small spherical viral capsids

Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter is currently running a Special Issue on soft quasicrystals, guided by guest editors Primoz Ziherl & Tomonari Dotera. This week’s image is from one of the most recent articles of the issue by Sergei Rochal et al., in which they investigate the local quasicrystalline order of proteins in small spherical viral capsids.

Capsids consisting of 180 (a) and (b), and 240 (c) proteins and the interpretation of their structures in the frames of quasicrystalline and crystalline spherical tilings. The capsids shown in the second line belong to: (a) Zika virus; (b) Brome Mosaic virus & (c) Authentic Providence virus. The centers of mass of protein molecules in these capsids are located in the centers of colored circles. The last line represents the chiral spherical lattices for the same capsids. Image taken from J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 29 284002 © IOP Publishing.

They propose a quasicrystalline model based on the unfolding of spherical shells into the nets of a dodecahedral type and contrast its merits with those of previous methods. Chiefly, they show that this model allows for the uniform description of a series of small viral capsids with diverse numbers of proteins for the first time.


Read the full article HERE.

Read more about the Special Issue HERE.

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Categories: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, JPhys+

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