Salmon sperm DNA

A.Marchant marchaa at
Fri Feb 17 01:06:45 EST 1995

I have been asked why "salmon sperm" DNA is specifically prescribed, in
hybridization buffers.  I had the story that it is historical, from the time
when there were salmon in the rivers of Europe, and it was no problem to go
out and catch one, bring him back to the lab, cut off his balls and turn them
into DNA, and have salmon for dinner.  From that time to this, it has
just passed from recipe to recipe, by conservative molecular biologists.
This story sounds good, but can anyone confirm, refute, or elaborate on

I presume that there is lots of DNA in the testes of fish about to mate
- and their sperm can be 'expressed' by a skillful squeeze - this is
done in fish-farming.  Herring sperm DNA is also a common one in mol
biol recipes.  But so is calf thymus.  

For that matter, why use DNA at all?  I don't use it in my hyb buffer -
just SSC and some sort of protein does the job?

Adam Marchant
marchaa at

>Dear Molbionetters,
>I am amazed how fast Salmon sperm DNA goes up in price. We buy ours from
>Sigma and we have to write a new grant proposal each time to get it. Do you
>know a cheaper sourse?
>Thanks a mil
>Shahram Mori					   _/\_
>Program in Molecular Biology			  _\  /_
>Dept. of chemistry and Biochemistry Box 3C	  \_  _/
>NMSU  Las Cruces NM				    ||


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