DNA work on formalin fixed material
Torin.S.Morgan at soc.soton.ac.uk
Wed Oct 20 05:30:40 EST 1999
France & Kocher (1996) worked on tissue that was formalin fixed but
then stored in ethanol. Note that ethanol is a fixative used for DNA work
and may have stabilised the DNA to some extent. The problem comes
with material stored long-term in formalin (eg most polychaetes), but take
heart from the work done recently by Savioz et al. (1997) in Acta
Neuropathologica 93, 408-413: A method for the extraction of genomic
DNA from human brain tissue fixed and stored in formalin for many
It may be interesting to watch developments being made by pathologists
looking into the genetic basis of diseases like cancer. They have recently
been characterising very useful DNA markers like microsatellites from
biopsied tissue that had been originally taken for histochemical analysis.
Such tissue would have been formalin-fixed and then embedded in
paraffin wax. A quick search through your favourite bibliographic
database for "microsatellite" + "formalin" should yield the relevant articles
for anyone interested.
all the best,
>A correspondent writes: "The main problem with using PCR determinations
>on most polychaete material is that at least for recent such, it usually
>has been fixed in formaldehyde ... ."
>OK, then how about this .... Technology marches on, I guess.
>France, S. C., & T. D. Kocher. 1996. DNA sequencing of formalin-fixed
>crustaceans from archival research collections. Molecular Marine
>Biology and Biotechnology, 5(4):304-313.
Dr Torin Morgan
School of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Southampton Oceanography Centre
Southampton SO14 3ZH
office tel: +44 (0)1703 596270
lab tel: +44 (0)1703 596502
mobile tel: 0976 924159
email: torin at soton.ac.uk
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