As most of you are probably aware, transporting and shipping samples in
ethanol or on dry ice, especially across borders is increasingly
difficult. In the past, I have preserved my samples in 95% ethanol,
dumped most of the ethanol from the vials and took them as checked
luggage on the plane with me. Those were relatively small amounts and I
have never run into problems with the airlines or customs. However, I
might have to take a larger amount of samples from Mexico to the US and
am thinking about alternatives to ethanol. This might be of general
interest for anybody working in remote locations where freezing is not
an option and where trying to ship something with a reliable service
could be a nightmare.
I found the following reference which compares different field
preservation methods for a variety of marine invertebrates for DNA
analyses, including a polychaete (Phragmatopoma):
Dawson, M. N., Raskoff, K. A. and Jacobs, D. K. 1998. Field preservation
of marine invertebrate tissue for DNA analysis. Mol. Mar. Biol. Biotech.
According to their study, storage in DMSO-NaCl preserves DNA for months
even if kept at 25 C. The visual appearance of the specimens was still
good too. Does anybody else have experience with this method for
Other, less successful, alternatives mentioned are: CTAB-NaCl, "Queen's"
lysis buffer and urea buffer. RNAlater should work too but is quite
expensive. Any other insights?
Anja Schulze, Ph.D
Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University at Galveston
5007 Avenue U
Galveston, TX 77551
Email: schulzea from tamug.eduhttp://www.tamug.edu/schulze/
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