Temperature of long-term DNA storage

Brendan Scott s3148487 at STUDENT.ANU.EDU.AU
Thu Mar 25 20:39:47 EST 1999


My lab is currently debating the pros & cons of what temperature is best
for storing DNA over the long-term ie 10 years, etc..  It has been
suggested that storing DNA at -20C is bad, because if it is in a salt
solution e.g. TE, it will undergo a constant freeze-thaw cycle that will
break up the DNA.  Manuals recommend 4C, but never say why.  While 4C has
worked in the past, there is a tendency for a minority of DNA samples to
grow fungi, bacteria and other colonies of lifeforms - which, contamination
aside, will presumably be producing working nucleases as well.  While
storing at -70C is an option, we have far more space at 4C and -20C.  What
are other people's experiences re this dilemma?

Brendan Scott

Brendan Scott
Human Genetics Group
John Curtin School of Medical Research
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200
Ph:  (026) 249 0417/3725
Fax  (026) 249 4712
0418 871 514

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