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DNA signature tags (molecular barcodes) facilitate functional screens by identifying mutants in mixed populations that have a reduced or increased adaptation to a particular environment. Many innovative adaptations and refinements in the technology have been described since its original use with Salmonella; they have yielded a wealth of information on a broad range of biological processes--mainly in bacteria, but also in yeast and other fungi, viruses, parasites and, most recently, in mammalian cells. By combining whole-genome microarrays and comprehensive ordered libraries of mutants, high-throughput functional screens can now be achieved on a genomic scale.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Genet

Publication Date





929 - 939


Animals, Bacteria, Gene Library, Genome, Humans, Mutagenesis, Insertional, Mutation, RNA Interference, Saccharomyces cerevisiae