Insertion sequencing (INSeq) is a method for determining the insertion site and relative abundance of large numbers of transposon mutants in a mixed population of isogenic mutants of a sequenced microbial species. INSeq is based on a modified mariner transposon containing MmeI sites at its ends, allowing cleavage at chromosomal sites 16-17 bp from the inserted transposon. Genomic regions adjacent to the transposons are amplified by linear PCR with a biotinylated primer. Products are bound to magnetic beads, digested with MmeI and barcoded with sample-specific linkers appended to each restriction fragment. After limited PCR amplification, fragments are sequenced using a high-throughput instrument. The sequence of each read can be used to map the location of a transposon in the genome. Read count measures the relative abundance of that mutant in the population. Solid-phase library preparation makes this protocol rapid (18 h), easy to scale up, amenable to automation and useful for a variety of samples. A protocol for characterizing libraries of transposon mutant strains clonally arrayed in a multiwell format is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1980
Number of pages12
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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