Storage of lambda phage

Antje Haase antje at RT1.MENZIES.SU.EDU.AU
Fri Jul 30 16:12:09 EST 1993

> Hello,
> Does someone know how to store lambda phages properly for long term? I know
> you can just put a suspension or agarplug in some LB at 4C, perhaps with
> some chloroform (does that affect PCR?), but is there perhaps some other
> way? At -80C perhaps?
> Johan de Boer
> jdboer at
> Univ. Victoria, Canada

Hi Johan,

storing phage suspension or agarplug is fine for a couple of months at least.
I usually store them in SM (with gelatine) and add a drop of chloroform to
inhibit bacterial growth (therefore LB is obviously not quite so good). Some
supernatant from a lambda culture has a titer of more than 10E10 and keeps
virtually forever at 4C.
For storage at -80C you can also PEG precipitate the phage (10%PEG, !M NaCl)
and keep it as long as you like. Precipitated particles are very stable and
can even be mailed away without extra precautions (at least as far as the
safety of the phage is concerned)  Also there is always the possibility of
packaging the DNA - just in case everything would go wrong - but I never got
to that stage.

Good luck


Antje Haase
antje at
Menzies School of Health Research

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