Here, we describe mutants of Mycoplasma pulmonis that were obtained using a minitransposon, Tn4001TF1, which actively transposes but is then unable to undergo subsequent excision events. Using Tn4001TF1, we disrupted 39 genes previously thought to be essential for growth. Thus, the number of genes required for growth has been overestimated. This study also revealed evidence of gene duplications in M. pulmonis and identified chromosome segregation proteins that are dispensable in mycoplasmas but essential in Bacillus subtilis. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.