Transposons are mobile genetic elements bounded by insertion sequences that are recognized by a specific mobilizing transposase enzyme. The transposase may mobilize not only the insertion sequences but also intervening DNA. mariner is a particularly efficient transposon for the random chromosomal integration of genes and insertional mutagenesis. Here, we modify an existing mariner transposon, TnYLB, such that it can easily be genetically manipulated and introduced into Bacillus subtilis. We generate a series of three new mariner derivatives that mobilize spectinomycin, chloramphenicol, and kanamycin antibiotic resistance cassettes. Furthermore, we generate a series of transposons with a strong, outward-oriented, optionally isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG)-inducible promoter for the random overexpression of neighboring genes and a series of transposons with a promoterless lacZ gene for the random generation of transcriptional reporter fusions. We note that the modification of the base transposon is not restricted to B. subtilis and should be applicable to any mariner-compatible host organism, provided that in vitro mutagenesis or an in vivo species-specific delivery vector is employed.
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