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?

  • $\begingroup$ It depends on your concentration. More concentrated DNA is more stable. $\endgroup$
    – jp89
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Closely related to this question - if not dupe? $\endgroup$
    – Rory M
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would say that even at 4°C the stability is fairly high $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Commented May 12, 2012 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – shigeta
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 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.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide a citation for this? I am skeptical, because I routinely transfect cells using DNA stocks frozen years ago. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:02

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