silly? phenol question

Ned Mantei mantei at
Fri Aug 17 08:20:18 EST 2001

In article <3B782FEC.14234.176ADB at localhost>, wolfsc at 
("Wolfgang Schechinger") wrote:

>Hi all, 
>What actually is the reason for storing phenol in the dark 
>fridge? Does the reddish couloured compound (that evolves 
>when you store it on the shelf) harm DNA work?

The reddish oxidation product will damage RNA. My colleagues used to see 
this when isolating tumor virus RNA (ca. 10,000 nucleotides)--it was 
impossible to isolate full length RNA using oxidized phenol. We used to 
redistill our phenol and store it in aliquots at -20C. We now just add 
enough water to keep the phenol liquid at 4C, and then add 
8-hydroxyquinolone to 0.1% as an antioxidant.

Ned Mantei
Department of Cell Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland

More information about the Methods mailing list