Beyond toothpicks: New methods for isolating mutant bacteria

A. James Link, Ki Jun Jeong, George Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Over the past 50 years genetic analysis in microbiology has relied predominantly on selections and plate assays using chromogenic enzyme substrates - for example, X-gal assays for the detection of β-galactosidase activity. Recent advances in fluorescent assays and high throughput screening technologies have paved the way for the rapid isolation of mutants that confer complex phenotypes and for the quantitative analysis of the evolution of new traits in bacterial populations. This Review highlights the power of novel single-cell screening technologies and their applications to genetics, evolution and the biotechnological uses of bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-688
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


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