Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an often fatal infectious disease for which there is no vaccine. B. pseudomallei is listed as a tier 1 select agent, and as current therapeutic options are limited due to its natural resistance to most antibiotics, the development of new antimicrobial therapies is imperative. To identify drug targets and better understand the complex B. pseudomallei genome, we sought a genome-wide approach to identify lethal gene targets. As B. pseudomallei has an unusually large genome spread over two chromosomes, an extensive screen was required to achieve a comprehensive analysis. Here we describe transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS) of a library of over 106 transposon insertion mutants, which provides the level of genome saturation required to identify essential genes. Using this technique, we have identified a set of 505 genes that are predicted to be essential in B. pseudomallei K96243. To validate our screen, three genes predicted to be essential, pyrH, accA, and sodB, and a gene predicted to be nonessential, bpss0370, were independently investigated through the generation of conditional mutants. The conditional mutants confirmed the TraDIS predictions, showing that we have generated a list of genes predicted to be essential and demonstrating that this technique can be used to analyze complex genomes and thus be more widely applied. © 2014 Moule et al.