Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Inspired by the post about extracting pet DNA, how long would genomic DNA be stable for in a -20°C freezer? It is common practice to store DNA (double-stranded, plasmid) in a -20°C freezer in the lab, but would genomic DNA last longer in a -80°C freezer? With either method, how long would it be stable for?

share|improve this question
It depends on your concentration. More concentrated DNA is more stable. – jp89 May 11 '12 at 14:42
Closely related to this question - if not dupe? – Rory M May 11 '12 at 19:31
up vote 5 down vote accepted

If the DNA is pure, it should last quite a long time. If there are enzymes and other biological molecules in there, -80C will work much better.

I think you could keep pure DNA at -20C practically indefinitely.

Purity is the main issue there, also pH stabilized, sealed properly, etc. That makes all the difference.

share|improve this answer
I would say that even at 4°C the stability is fairly high – nico May 12 '12 at 12:23
I usually keep plasmid minipreps at 4C for months its true. I think the difference is if the ends of the DNA are sheared or ragged, as in a typical gDNA prep, then it might not be so great to leave it unfrozen. – shigeta Jan 3 '15 at 16:50

You can store your DNA for 1 week at -4C and for one month at -20C but with storing DNA over these period of time there is a deduction of 10-15% of yield from your DNA sample.

share|improve this answer
Can you provide a citation for this? I am skeptical, because I routinely transfect cells using DNA stocks frozen years ago. – user560 Sep 5 '13 at 15:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.