Random genome deletion methods applicable to prokaryotes.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 79: 519-526. 2008.
N. Suzuki, M. Inui and H. Yukawa.

Through their enabling of simultaneous identification of multiple non-essential genes in a genome, large-segment genome deletion methods are an increasingly popular approach to minimize and tailor microbial genomes for specific functions. At present, difficulties in identifying target regions for deletion are a result of inadequate knowledge to define gene essentiality. Furthermore, with the majority of predicted open reading frames of completely sequenced genomes still annotated as putative genes, essential or important genes are found scattered throughout the genomes, limiting the size of non-essential segments that can be safely deleted in a single sweep. Recently described large-segment random genome deletion methods that utilize transposons enable the generation of random deletion strains, analysis of which makes identification of non-essential genes less tedious. Such and other efforts to determine the minimum genome content necessary for cell survival continue to accumulate important information that should help improve our understanding of genome function and evolution. This review presents an assessment of technological advancements of random genome deletion methods in prokaryotes to date.