A simple and fast protocol for the preparation of a large-size mutant library for directed evolution in Escherichia coli was developed based on the DNA multimers generated by prolonged overlap extension polymerase chain reaction (POE-PCR). This protocol comprised the following: (i) a linear DNA mutant library was generated by error-prone PCR or shuffling, and a linear vector backbone was prepared by regular PCR; (ii) the DNA multimers were generated based on these two DNA templates by POE-PCR; and (iii) the one restriction enzyme-digested DNA multimers were ligated to circular plasmids, followed by transformation to E. coli. Because the ligation efficiency of one DNA fragment was several orders of magnitude higher than that of two DNA fragments for typical mutant library construction, it was very easy to generate a mutant library with a size of more than 10(7) protein mutants per 50 μl of the POE-PCR product. Via this method, four new fluorescent protein mutants were obtained based on monomeric cherry fluorescent protein. This new protocol was simple and fast because it did not require labor-intensive optimizations in restriction enzyme digestion and ligation, did not involve special plasmid design, and enabled constructing a large-size mutant library for directed enzyme evolution within 1 day.