Optimal genomic DNA storage conditions

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cmartino's picture
Optimal genomic DNA storage conditions

I am looking for a reference that substantiates storing genomic DNA (in water) at 4 degrees vs. -20 degrees, long-term vs. short-term, etc.

Does anyone know of a good paper on this topic? I'm not getting anywhere with a search in PubMed.

Thanks in advance!!

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture


Here is a good reference article discussing optimal storage conditions for DNA.

Smith S, Morin SA. Optimal storage conditions for highly dilute DNA samples: A role for Trehalose as a preserving agent. Journal of Forensic Sciences, Sept 2005, Volume 50, Issue 5

DNA extraction from trace samples or noninvasively collected samples often results in the recovery of low concentration solutions of DNA that are prone to DNA degradation or other loss. Because of the difficulty in obtaining such samples, and their potentially high value in wildlife and forensic studies, it is critical that optimal methods are employed for their long-term storage. We assessed the amplification yield of samples kept under different storage conditions with the addition of potential preserving agents. We stored dilutions of known concentration human placental DNA, and gorilla fecal DNA, under four conditions (+4°C, -20°C, -80°C, dry at room temperature), and with three additives (Tris EDTA (TE) buffer, Hind III digested Lambda DNA, trehalose). The effectiveness of the treatment methods was tested at regular intervals using qPCR to assess the quantity of amplifiable DNA, and a PCR assay of a larger 757 bp fragment to evaluate the quality of that remaining DNA. The highest quantity of DNA remained in samples stored at -80°C, regardless of storage additives, and those dried at room temperature in the presence of trehalose. Surprisingly, DNA quality was best preserved in the presence of trehalose, either dried or at -80°C; significant quality loss occurred with -20°C and +4°C storage.

Reference Link:


GauchoFreg's picture
Biomatrica has developed a

Biomatrica has developed a dissolvable polymer called SampleMatrix that is a synthetic version of trehalose and offers the same benefits of room temperature DNA storage.
See www.biomatrica.com

Typer's picture
I was reviewing this issue a

I was reviewing this issue a year or so ago, and found it difficult to find published studies on the topic. However, if you visit the QIAgen website you should be able to link to a tech bulletin about DNA storage. In this they described the effects of storage in water vs. a TE buffer on DNA integrity when stored under refrigerated or frozen conditions.

If you DO find a published study, let us know. I'd be interested to see it.

molbur's picture
You can also check these

You can also check these papers (and references included) :

Nucleic Acids Res 38 1531-46 (2010) Chain and conformation stability of solid-state DNA: implications for room temperature storage Bonnet, J., M. Colotte, et al.

There is currently wide interest in room temperature storage of dehydrated DNA. However, there is insufficient knowledge about its chemical and structural stability. Here, we show that solid-state DNA degradation is greatly affected by atmospheric water and oxygen at room temperature. In these conditions DNA can even be lost by aggregation. These are major concerns since laboratory plastic ware is not airtight. Chain-breaking rates measured between 70 degrees C and 140 degrees C seemed to follow Arrhenius' law. Extrapolation to 25 degrees C gave a degradation rate of about 1-40 cuts/10(5) nucleotides/century. However, these figures are to be taken as very tentative since they depend on the validity of the extrapolation and the positive or negative effect of contaminants, buffers or additives. Regarding the secondary structure, denaturation experiments showed that DNA secondary structure could be preserved or fully restored upon rehydration, except possibly for small fragments. Indeed, below about 500 bp, DNA fragments underwent a very slow evolution (almost suppressed in the presence of trehalose) which could end in an irreversible denaturation. Thus, this work validates using room temperature for storage of DNA if completely protected from water and oxygen.

CELL PRESERVATION TECHNOLOGY 5 (2007) Frontiers in Clinical Research. Preservation of DNA. ANCHORDOQUY, T. J. and M.C. MOLINA
The preservation of DNA is of wide interest to scientists in disparate fields from biorepository management to
pharmaceutical sciences. Although the term “preservation” is used by all these fields and refers to the maintenance
of chemical and physical integrity of the DNA molecule, it should not be surprising that the perspectives
of scientists from these distinct fields differ significantly. Most notably, the time frame for stability of a pharmaceutical
product is approximately 2 years, whereas meaningful stability for an evolutionary biologist is measured
in the hundreds of millions of years. Such divergent viewpoints not only have a significant effect on the
time span of preservation, but also on what criteria are used to assess “stability.” This review discusses the literature
addressing the maintenance of DNA integrity from the perspective of developing methods that offer improved
preservation. Specifically, studies on the stability of DNA in solution, frozen, and dried are discussed. The
findings from these studies are compared, and the costs associated with maintaining DNA samples via contemporary
methods (i.e., cold storage) are estimated. In light of the significant cost of maintaining samples in the
frozen state, we conclude that dry storage at ambient temperatures would be adequate for many applications, and
we suggest preservation strategies that should be investigated based on findings in the literature. In addition, we
offer suggestions regarding critical studies that could be performed to compare published results from different
fields using vastly different criteria to assess “stability