Itasser vs. Modeler

What's the Difference?

Itasser and Modeler are both software programs used for protein structure prediction and modeling. Itasser is known for its accuracy in predicting protein structures through a combination of threading and ab initio modeling techniques. On the other hand, Modeler is a popular software for homology modeling, where protein structures are predicted based on known homologous structures. While Itasser is more versatile in its approach to protein structure prediction, Modeler is highly regarded for its reliability and ease of use in homology modeling. Ultimately, the choice between the two programs depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.


AlgorithmIterative Threading ASSEmbly RefinementHomology modeling
AccuracyHighDepends on template quality
SpeedRelatively slowDepends on complexity of model
UsagePrimarily for protein structure predictionCan be used for various modeling tasks

Further Detail


When it comes to protein structure prediction, two popular tools that are often used are Itasser and Modeler. Both tools have their own unique attributes and strengths that make them valuable in the field of bioinformatics. In this article, we will compare the features of Itasser and Modeler to help researchers decide which tool may be best suited for their specific needs.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a protein structure prediction tool is accuracy. Itasser is known for its high accuracy in predicting protein structures, especially for proteins with no homologous templates. It uses a combination of threading, ab initio modeling, and iterative refinement to generate accurate models. On the other hand, Modeler also has a good reputation for accuracy, particularly when there are homologous templates available. It uses comparative modeling techniques to predict protein structures based on known structures of related proteins.


Another important aspect to consider is the speed at which these tools can generate protein structure predictions. Itasser is known for its relatively fast speed in generating models, thanks to its parallel computing capabilities. This makes it a great choice for researchers who need quick results. Modeler, on the other hand, may take longer to generate models, especially when there are no homologous templates available and comparative modeling is required. However, the accuracy of the models produced by Modeler often justifies the longer wait time.

User Interface

The user interface of a protein structure prediction tool can greatly impact its usability. Itasser has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, making it accessible to researchers with varying levels of experience. It offers a range of options for customizing modeling parameters and visualizing results. Modeler, on the other hand, has a more complex interface that may be intimidating for beginners. However, experienced users appreciate the advanced features and customization options available in Modeler.


Scalability is an important consideration for researchers who need to analyze large datasets or complex protein structures. Itasser is highly scalable and can handle large-scale protein structure prediction tasks with ease. Its parallel computing capabilities allow for efficient processing of multiple sequences simultaneously. Modeler, on the other hand, may struggle with scalability when dealing with large datasets or complex protein structures. Researchers working with smaller datasets may find Modeler to be sufficient for their needs.

Support and Documentation

Having access to good support and documentation can make a big difference when using protein structure prediction tools. Itasser provides comprehensive documentation and user guides to help researchers get started with the tool. Additionally, Itasser offers support through forums and email for users who encounter issues or have questions. Modeler also offers documentation and user guides, but some users may find it lacking in comparison to Itasser. However, Modeler has a strong user community that can provide support and guidance to new users.


In conclusion, both Itasser and Modeler are valuable tools for protein structure prediction, each with its own unique attributes and strengths. Itasser is known for its high accuracy and speed, making it a great choice for researchers who need quick and reliable results. On the other hand, Modeler excels in accuracy, especially when homologous templates are available, and offers advanced features for experienced users. Ultimately, the choice between Itasser and Modeler will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the researcher.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.