The 'X-ray Diffraction and Bio-SAXS ' platform at EMBL Hamburg offers beamtime on one beamline for small-angle X-ray scattering (P12) and two beamlines for macromolecular crystallography (P13, P14). With both methods, static and time-resolved pump-probe experiments can be performed.
Small-angle X-ray Scattering data collection and processing. P12 is an undulator beamline utilizing the wavelength range between 0.6 and 3 Å. The beamline is optimised for low background data collection from macromolecular solutions and kinetic experiments with high temporal resolution. The endstation is equipped with photon counting Pilatus and Eiger detectors, a robotic sample changer and in-line size-exclusion chromatography (SEC-SAXS) setups. P12 allows for fully automated and remote data acquisition and processing using the Beamline Meta Server software. Mail-in access is encouraged, both for sample changer and SEC-SAXS projects.
Diffraction data collection and processing. https://www.embl-hamburg.de/services/mx/P13
Diffraction data collection and processing. https://www.embl-hamburg.de/services/mx/P14
EMBL Hamburg operates a beamline P12 dedicated to biological small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and two beamlines, P13 and P14, for macromolecular crystallography (MX) on the PETRA III high-brilliance synchrotron (DESY, Hamburg). The beamlines are linked to the sample preparation and characterisation (SPC) facility providing complementary services for sample analysis. Facilities for the processing and evaluation of the data collected on the beamlines form also part of the services offered. EMBL Hamburg has a long-standing record in providing beamlines and related services to the user community, including groups new to structural biology.
SAXS allows one to study the overall (quaternary) structure and structural transitions in a non-restrictive sample environment, directly in solution. The EMBL beamline P12 runs a robotic sample changer for high throughput studies (with a capacity of two 96 well plates). The data is taken, processed and interpreted on-the-fly, and the structural parameters including low resolution shapes are computed by an automated pipeline within a few minutes after the measurement. This mode is especially attractive for novice users without SAXS experience. Another (SEC-SAXS) mode, where an in-line size exclusion chromatography setup is employed together with biophysical methods (e.g. light scattering and refraction) is extremely useful for challenging and notoriously heterogeneous samples. Examples of services offered are: (i) combinatorial high throughput ligands/additives screening; (ii) studies of equilibrium mixtures and membrane proteins with online SEC-SAXS coupled with biophysical analysis, and (iii) time-resolved studies of processes, from sub-ms ((un)folding) to hours (oligomerization, fibrillation).