Temperature of long-term DNA storage

Hiranya S. Roychowdhury hroychow at NMSU.EDU
Fri Mar 26 16:15:47 EST 1999

At 06:24 PM 3/26/99 GMT, Nick Theodorakis wrote:

>In article <199903260134.MAA11313 at bohm.anu.edu.au>,
>  s3148487 at STUDENT.ANU.EDU.AU (Brendan Scott) wrote:
>> G'day!
>> My lab is currently debating the pros & cons of what temperature is best
>> for storing DNA over the long-term ie 10 years, etc.. 

>I've been storing plasmid DNA in TE in the refrigerator, and noticed no loss
>of quality after more than 4 years. But then I haven't had the problem of
>microbial contamination, either.
> _______________________________________________

        Indeed, Nick, this point had been brought up several times! What
needs to be understood about nucleic acids is that, sans nucleases,
mechanical shearing and autocatalysis, they are theoretically
indestructible. I too have been storing some of my samples (plasmid, phage
and genomic) at 4 C indefinitely (since 1993). My contention is that if a
DNA sample is intact for the first week or two at 4 C, there is no reason
for it to degrade subsequently, unless one of the above happened to it. 
        Nonetheless, I'd be more comfortable storing a DNA sample absolutely
dry, or in 100% EtOH, if it needs to be stored for a decade or more.


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

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