Oligo stability in water at -20 C

Hiranya Roychowdhury hroychow at NMSU.EDU
Mon Aug 10 10:50:47 EST 1998

At 02:33 PM 8/10/98 GMT, Chris Boyd wrote:
>Some years ago, there was a discussion on this ng about oligos going
 >Could it be that water-dissolved oligos will go off
>faster than buffer-dissolved oligos (even at -20 C with no thawing) due
>to (eg) autohydrolysis? Has anyone any data on this, or any other
>thoughts about oligo stability? I see no reason why oligos that are OK
>to start with, and stored in suitable sterile enzyme-free media,
>shouldn't last for years.
>Best wishes,
>Chris Boyd                      | from, but not \ MRC Human Genetics Unit,

Yes, nucleic acids do auto-hydrolyze in non-buffered solutions and even at
-20 C. Even  DNA size markers go bad when made up in plain water. Oligos in
TE may be stored for years (I just did PCR, successfully, with a properly
stored pair of primers from 1994), while those in water have average
"freezer life" of 4 to 6 months (in my experience).

Dr. Hiranya Sankar Roychowdhury
Plant Genetic Engineering Lab.
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Ph. (505) 646-5785
hroychow at nmsu.edu

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