To effectively analyze Mycoplasma gallisepticum for virulence-associated determinants, the ability to create stable genetic mutations is essential. Global M. gallisepticum mutagenesis is currently limited to the use of transposons. Using the gram-positive transposon Tn4001mod, a mutant library of 110 transformants was constructed and all insertion sites were mapped. To identify transposon insertion points, a unique primer directed outward from the end of Tn4001mod was used to sequence flanking genomic regions. By comparing sequences obtained in this manner to the annotated M. gallisepticum genome, the precise locations of transposon insertions were discerned. After determining the transposon insertion site for each mutant, unique reverse primers were synthesized based on the specific sequences, and PCR was performed. The resultant amplicons were used as unique Tn4001mod mutant identifiers. This procedure is referred to as signature sequence mutagenesis (SSM). SSM permits the comprehensive screening of the M. gallisepticum genome for the identification of novel virulence-associated determinants from a mixed mutant population. To this end, chickens were challenged with a pool of 27 unique Tn4001mod mutants. Two weeks postinfection, the birds were sacrificed, and organisms were recovered from respiratory tract tissues and screened for the presence or absence of various mutants. SSM is a negative-selection screening technique whereby those mutants possessing transposon insertions in genes essential for in vivo survival are not recovered from the host. We have identified a virulence-associated gene encoding dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (lpd). A transposon insertion in the middle of the coding sequence resulted in diminished biologic function and reduced virulence of the mutant designated Mg 7.