Insects for molecular work

Andrew Mitchell MitchellA at NU.AC.ZA
Fri Oct 26 17:33:43 CDT 2001

Dear Riaan,

It depends entirely on what you mean by "molecular work," but the bottom line is that if you want to keep your options open then an ultralow freezer (-80 C) is the only way to go. 

For allozyme electrophoresis studies you will need specimens preserved at -80C. For sequencing of single-copy nuclear genes via RT-PCR (i.e. using mRNA as the template to avoid introns) the same applies, although the specimens can probably last a few weeks or even a few months preserved in 100% ethanol at room temperature.
For sequencing mitochondrial DNA and/or ribosomal DNA you can get away with room temperature ― sometimes ― for a while.

If you want to save yourself a lot of trouble wondering whether your DNA quality is okay, go with the -80C freezer. I know of a very inexpensive supplier of -80 freezers in Joburg so give me call if you want that info.


>Date:    Thu, 25 Oct 2001 10:05:26 +0200
>From:    Riaan Stals <VREHRS at PLANT5.AGRIC.ZA>
>Subject: Insects for molecular work
>Dear Colleagues
>Apologies for cross-postings.
>I ask you expert opinions, since I have been receiving contradictory
>opinions from the experts around here.
>We are about to buy a ultralow freezer for the indefinite storage of
>insects in absolute ethanol for future molecular work. The experts
>around here cannot agree whether a -30=B0C or a -70=B0C would be the
>best freezer, and this morning I received a message from another
>expert that room temperature would be just fine.
>Please enlighten me.
>South African National Collection of Insects
>ARC - Plant  Protection  Research  Institute
>Private Bag X134  Pretoria 0002 South Africa
>Voice +27-12-323-8540    Fax +27-12-325-6998

Andrew Mitchell
Senior Lecturer, Molecular Phylogenetics
School of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
University of Natal
Private Bag X01
Scottsville, 3209

Tel:  +27 (0)33 260 5815
Fax: +27 (0)33 260 6127

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