Ethanol and sodium acetate as a preservation method to delay degradation of environmental DNA

Conservation Genetics Resources
By: , and 



Environmental DNA (eDNA) samples that are collected from remote locations depend on rapid stabilization of the DNA. The degradation of eDNA in water samples is minimized when samples are stored at ≤ 4 °C. Developing a preservation technique to maintain eDNA integrity at room temperature would allow a wider range of locations to be sampled. We evaluated an ethanol and sodium acetate solution to maintain the integrity of the DNA samples for the time between collection and lab testing. For this evaluation, replicate water samples taken from a tank housing Asian carp were placed on ice or held at room temperature. At both temperatures, water samples were left untreated or were preserved with an ethanol and sodium acetate solution (EtOH–NaAc). Every day for 6 days following collection, a subset of the samples was removed from each preservation method and DNA was extracted and nuclear and mitochondrial markers were assayed with qPCR. Results showed comparable persistence of DNA between iced samples without the EtOH–NaAc treatment and samples that received EtOH–NaAc treatment that were kept at room temperature. We found that DNA can be amplified from preserved samples using an EtOH–NaAc solution after up to 7 days at room temperature.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ethanol and sodium acetate as a preservation method to delay degradation of environmental DNA
Series title Conservation Genetics Resources
DOI 10.1007/s12686-017-0955-2
Volume 11
Issue 1
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description 6 p.
First page 83
Last page 88
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