SymD (Symmetry Detection)


Manual and Examples



SymD version 1.61 can handle multi-chain structures with up to 12000 residues.  It includes several options where users can specify by the following command:

symd -options name.pdb   

Options are separated by one or more spaces. There can be any number of options and the order is immaterial. Each option starts with a minus sign (‘-‘) in order to distinguish it from the file name field. Following options are recognized by the current version:


-is [num]   Initial shift value.

Default is all possible values], from –(nres-3) to +(nres – 3). When this option is given, only the specified initial shift will be tried.

-mxna [num] Maximum number of atoms. Must be > 3.  Default = 10,000.

-nopermute   Do not permute the structure.

-nofsd           Do not use “floating seeds”.  “Floating seeds” are seed pairs that have ties. SE routine do not use these pairs as seeds, but normally adds them among the aligned pairs at the end.  However, when the nofsd option is given, these are ignored.

-norefine       Do not do RSE refinement of the initial alignment.

-pivot [num]  T-score is calculated as T=Sum(1/[1+(d/d0)^n]).

-slope  [num] Pivot is d0 and slope is n in above formula.  Default: d0 = 2.0; n = 2.

-selcon          If this option is not given, RSE always does 10 cycles of refinement. With this option, RSE terminates if alignment converges before then.

-mina [num]  Minimum angle in degrees used in symmetry axis calculation.  If the rotation angle determined from the transformation matrix is less than this value, then the symmetry operation is considered as pure translation, in which case the symmetry axis is placed to pass through the center of mass of the molecule.  Default = 2.0 degrees.

-mp               Monitor the progress.

-complete     Produce a “complete” output.  Default: produce a “simple” output.

-fasta            Produce FASTA format alignment output file.

-sia                Show initial alignment.

-sfa                Show final alignment.

-sis                Save transformed structure after the initial alignment.

-sfs                Save transformed structure after the final alignment.

-sos               Include the original structure in the transformed structure output.

-bkt               Output details of clustering the high z-score points.

-axisLen [num] Half axis length in A.  Default: radius of gyration of the molecule.

The SymD1.61 executables for Mac and Linux as well as sample results can be download.


mAxesD runs on Mac OS X 10.5 or later.  It takes the info.txt output from SymD as the input and output the multiple (if any) symmetry axes information including initial shift, TM-score, Z-score and rotation angle.