A method for in vitro mutagenesis and recombination of polynucleotide sequences based on polymerase-catalyzed extension of primer oligonucleotides is disclosed. The method involves priming template polynucleotide(s) with random-sequences or defined-sequence primers to generate a pool of short DNA fragments with a low level of point mutations. The DNA fragments are subjected to denaturization followed by annealing and further enzyme-catalyzed DNA polymerization. This procedure is repeated a sufficient number of times to produce full-length genes which comprise mutants of the original template polynucleotides. These genes can be further amplified by the polymerase chain reaction and cloned into a vector for expression of the encoded proteins.
The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Grant No. DE-FG02-93-CH10578 awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant No. N00014-96-1-0340 awarded by the Office of Naval Research.