Hair samples are an increasingly important DNA source for wildlife studies, yet optimal storage methods and DNA degradation rates have not been rigorously evaluated. We tested amplification success rates over a one-year storage period for DNA extracted from brown bear (Ursus arctos) hair samples preserved using silica desiccation and -20 ??C freezing. For three nuclear DNA microsatellites, success rates decreased significantly after a six-month time point, regardless of storage method. For a 1000 bp mitochondrial fragment, a similar decrease occurred after a two-week time point. Minimizing delays between collection and DNA extraction will maximize success rates for hair-based noninvasive genetic sampling projects.
Additional publication details
A quantitative evaluation of two methods for preserving hair samples