A simple approach is described to efficiently amplify DNA sequences flanking transposon Tn5 insertions. The method involves: (i) digestion with a restriction enzyme that cuts within Tn5; (ii) self-ligation under conditions favouring the production of monomeric circles; (iii) four parallel PCR reactions using primers designed to amplify left or right flanking sequences, and to distinguish target amplicons from non-specific products. This reveals the number of Tn5 insertions and the size of flanking genomic restriction fragments, without Southern blot analysis. The amplified product contains restriction sites that facilitate cohesive-end cloning. This rapid method is demonstrated using Tn5 and Tn5-Mob tagged DNA sequences involved in albicidin biosynthesis in Xanthomonas albilineans. It is generally applicable for efficient recovery of DNA sequences flanking transposon Tn5 derivatives in insertional mutagenesis studies.