Targeted insertion mutagenesis is a main molecular tool of yeast science initially applied in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The method was extended to fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and to "non-conventional" yeast species, which show specific properties of special interest to both basic and applied research. Consequently, the behaviour of such non-Saccharomyces yeasts is reviewed against the background of the knowledge of targeted insertion mutagenesis in S. cerevisiae. Data of homologous integration efficiencies obtained with circular, ends-in or ends-out vectors in several yeasts are compared. We follow details of targeted insertion mutagenesis in order to recognize possible rate-limiting steps. The route of the vector to the target and possible mechanisms of its integration into chromosomal genes are considered. Specific features of some yeast species are discussed. In addition, similar approaches based on homologous recombination that have been established for the mitochondrial genome of S. cerevisiae are described. © 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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