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Annu Rev Genet. 2003;37:3-29.

Transposon-based strategies for microbial functional genomics and proteomics.

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Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, England.


Transposons are mobile genetic elements that can relocate from one genomic location to another. As well as modulating gene expression and contributing to genome plasticity and evolution, transposons are remarkably diverse molecular tools for both whole-genome and single-gene studies in bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms. Efficient but simple in vitro transposition reactions now allow the mutational analysis of previously recalcitrant microorganisms. Transposon-based signature-tagged mutagenesis and genetic footprinting strategies have pinpointed essential genes and genes that are crucial for the infectivity of a variety of human and other pathogens. Individual proteins and protein complexes can be dissected by transposon-mediated scanning linker mutagenesis. These and other transposon-based approaches have reaffirmed the usefulness of these elements as simple yet highly effective mutagens for both functional genomic and proteomic studies of microorganisms.

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