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Monitoring of gene knockouts: genome-wide profiling of conditionally essential genes

Lisa K Smith1, Maria J Gomez1, Konstantin Y Shatalin2, Hyunwoo Lee1* and Alexander A Neyfakh13

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA

2 Current address: Department of Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA

3 Deceased (20 April 2006)

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Genome Biology 2007, 8:R87  doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-5-r87

Published: 22 May 2007

Abstract

We have developed a new microarray-based genetic technique, named MGK (Monitoring of Gene Knockouts), for genome-wide identification of conditionally essential genes. MGK identified bacterial genes that are critical for fitness in the absence of aromatic amino acids, and was further applied to identify genes whose inactivation causes bacterial cell death upon exposure to the bacteriostatic antibiotic chloramphenicol. Our findings suggest that MGK can serve as a robust tool in functional genomics studies.