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Autoclaves destroy DNA???

Matt Kaeberlein n9410619 at JANICE.CC.WWU.EDU
Wed Aug 7 18:19:36 EST 1996

On Wed, 7 Aug 1996, Chris Barry wrote:

> Francois Jeanmougin wrote:
> > 
> > In article <01bb83e4$58093080$47faa4c6 at skinner.mi.net>,
> >         "Barn" <skinner at mis.nb.ca> writes:
> > 
> > >121C
> > >YES, autoclaving will destroy DNA.  To be sure, autoclave small batches for
> > >30-45 minutes.  121C is beyond the melting point of any DNA.
> > >
> > 
> >         Well, don't confuse between denaturation and destruction. the
> > destruction should come from covalent bond hydrolysis. Then the buffer
> > in which you are is important, at least its boiling point and the presence
> > of hydrolytic agents.
> > 
> >                                         Hope this helps,
> >                      
> There are exceptions... If you are really paranoid, there are bacteria
> that can handle such temperatures. I don't have a source though.
> Chris
I think you are referring to the hyperthermophilic Archean Pyrodictium 
occultum.  It has an optimum growth temperature of 103C and can survive 
at temperatures reaching 113C.  There should be a blurb about this in any 
undergraduate microbiology text, however for a more complete reference 
try Stetter et. al. Science 236: 822-824.  If I am not mistaken, 
Pyrodictium synthesizes a DNA binding protein which stabilizes its DNA at 
these high temperatures.  They are found at deep-sea hydrothermal vents 
where the extremely high pressure allows water to be in the liquid state 
above 100C.

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