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The incorporation of a fluorescent reporter gene into a replication-competent influenza A virus (IAV) has made it possible to trace IAV infection in vivo. This protocol describes the process of inserting a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter into the IAV genome using the established reverse genetics system. The strategy begins with the reorganization of segment eight of the IAV genome, during which the open reading frames of nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) and the nuclear export protein (NEP) are separated to allow for GFP fusion to the NS1 protein. The NS1, GFP, and NEP open reading frames (ORF) are then cloned into the IAV rescue system backbone. Upon construction of the GFP-encoding segment eight rescue plasmid, recombinant NS1-GFP influenza virus can be rescued via co-transfection with the remaining seven rescue plasmids. The generated NS1-GFP IAV can subsequently be used to visualize infected cells, both in vitro and in vivo. © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Jasmine T Perez, Adolfo García-Sastre, Balaji Manicassamy. Insertion of a GFP reporter gene in influenza virus. Current protocols in microbiology. 2013;Chapter 15:Unit 15G.4

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PMID: 23686828

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