Transposon Insertion Sequencing: A New Tool for Systems-Level Analysis of Microorganisms

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Jul;11(7):435-42. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3033. Epub 2013 May 28.


Our knowledge of gene function has increasingly lagged behind gene discovery, hindering our understanding of the genetic basis of microbial phenotypes. Recently, however, massively parallel sequencing has been combined with traditional transposon mutagenesis in techniques referred to as transposon sequencing (Tn-seq), high-throughput insertion tracking by deep sequencing (HITS), insertion sequencing (INSeq) and transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS), making it possible to identify putative gene functions in a high-throughput manner. Here, we describe the similarities and differences of these related techniques and discuss their application to the probing of gene function and higher-order genome organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Gene Library
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional / methods*


  • DNA Transposable Elements