[Taxacom] specimen storage in ethanol: methylethyketon

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Thu Nov 13 06:01:26 CST 2008

On Thu, November 13, 2008 7:30 am, Donat Agosti wrote:
> Storage of specimens in ethanol
> I would appreciate to know whether the 2% Methylethylketon added to
> Ethanol has an effect on the usability of specimen for DNA work?
> Methylethylketon is used to make Ethanol not palatable for human.

I haven't used it, but I would avoid any adulterated ethanol if at all
possible, simply for the effect it has on the specimens.  I have heavily
sclerotized black insects in denatured ethanol (95% + 2% methanol and 1%
kerosene) which have faded to brown in less than 10 years, while those
put in 95% clean ethanol at nearly the same time have completely
retained their color.  As MEK is a more potent solvent I would expect it
to be even worse, regardless of its effect on DNA.

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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