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Can i still use 3-4 years old bacterial DNA template for my PCR? They were kept in -20 all this while. Will the DNA degrade?

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Degradation of DNA is gradual, but continuous, even in the freezer. However, they can sequence DNA from ancient animals in permafrost, or Neanderthal teeth. Fresh is always best, but there is no reason not to try PCR on your samples.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, 3-4 years at -20ºC should be fine. I have never had any problem with plasmids stored this long (or even longer). Shorter and linear DNA fragments might be a bit less stable. $\endgroup$
    – Guillaume
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 17:51
  • $\begingroup$ Not only can one sequence DNA from permafrost, but it can remain sufficiently intact to produce a living plant after 30,000 years. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 18:16

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