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Direct methods of breaking phase ambiguities in protein crystallography have been introduced in powder diffraction analysis. This is aiming at ab initio solution of noncentrosymmetric structures using two-wavelength anomalous powder diffraction data. The known structure of the hydrogen bromide salt of leotidine (C14H20O2N2·HBr) in space group P212121 was used for simulating two-wavelength anomalous powder diffraction with the Br atom as anomalous scatterer. X-ray wavelengths are selected at \lambda_1 = 0.920 and \lambda_2 = 1.500 Å. Unique reflections from the diffraction pattern of \lambda_2 were able to locate the Br atom accurately. All overlapping diffraction peaks were uniformly partitioned to decompose into single reflections. Structure-factor amplitudes were then extracted. With these and the substructure of Br atoms, unique phases for centric reflections (hk0, h0l and 0kl) and phase doublets for noncentric reflections were obtained. The direct method was used to break the phase ambiguity leading to an interpretable electron-density map, from which five cycles of Fourier iteration yielded the complete structure.

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