Oligo stability in water at -20 C

Michael T. MacDonell sendero at ix.netcom.com
Mon Aug 10 15:47:51 EST 1998

Dear Peter:

It happens, but is insignificant in the time frames we are talking
about.  If the oligo were P32 labled, the you might see appreciable
radiolysis, but not autolysis.  Even if you were discussing huge time
periods, the difference between water, buffer, room temperature, and
-20C would not result in appreciable differrences. It has been shown,
and even published, that freezing and re-thawing does not negatively
impact oligos. 

Oligos degrade because of nucleases.  It is relatively unlikely that
you would accidently encounter a sufficient titre of nucleases to
cause substantial degradation of oligos in solution, so Occham's Razor
suggests that bacterial contamination is the likely culprit.

We use only autoclaved water with oligos and attempt to keep our
techniques as aseptic as possible. We have no storage problems, even
over years.

Bacteria are everywhere. It is part of their job.

Best Regards,

On Mon, 10 Aug 1998 16:42:58 -0500, pxpst2 at unixs.cis.pitt.edu (Peter)

>In article <35cf16cb.216714738 at nntp.ix.netcom.com>, sendero at ix.netcom.com
>(Michael T. MacDonell) wrote:
>> The answer to most of your questions is "No".  Water, buffer, doesn't
>> matter. As far as the oligo is concerned, room temp, -20, -80, doesn't
>> matter.  Oligos are stable (although modifiers may not be). What you
>> are describing is nuclease degradation. Almost certainly caused by
>> bacterial contamination.  Talk to a Microbiologist, they can hep you.
>> Best Regards,
>> Mike
>And what about auto hydrolysis of the ester bond?  Does it matter or does
>it just not happen?
>"Don't you eat that yellow snow
>            watch out where the Huskies go"    FZ

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