The incorporation of a fluorescent reporter gene into a replication-competent influenza A virus (IAV) hasmade it possible to trace IAVinfection 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15G.4
JournalCurrent Protocols in Microbiology
Issue numberSUPPL.29
StatePublished - 2013


  • GFP reporter
  • Influenza A virus
  • Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1)
  • Recombinant virus
  • Reverse genetics


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