Blood DNA Yield but Not Integrity or Methylation Is Impacted after Long-Term Storage

Alexandre Bulla, Brian De Witt, Wim Ammerlaan, Fay Betsou, Pierre Lescuyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Collection of human whole blood for genomic DNA extraction is part of numerous clinical studies. Since DNA extraction cannot always be performed at the time of sample collection, whole blood samples may be stored for years before being processed. The use of appropriate storage conditions is then critical to obtain DNA in sufficient quantity and of adequate quality in order to obtain reliable results from the subsequent molecular biological analyses. In this study, EDTA whole blood samples were collected from 8 healthy volunteers, and different durations (up to 1 year) and temperatures (room temperature, 4°C, -20°C, and -80°C) of storage were compared. The effect of the addition of a DNA preservative agent was also assessed before and after storage. DNA concentrations measured by UV spectrophotometry and spectrofluorometry were used to calculate DNA extraction yields and double-strand DNA ratios. DNA integrity was controlled by agarose gel electrophoresis and long-range polymerase chain reaction. The impact of storage conditions on DNA methylation was also evaluated. Results showed that certain storage conditions have a significant impact on the DNA extraction yield but little or no effect on DNA integrity and methylation. Storage of EDTA blood at -80°C guarantees high-quality DNA with a good yield. Higher DNA extraction yields were obtained with the addition of a DNA preservative agent before thawing EDTA blood stored at -20°C or -80°C. Long-term storage at room temperature in the presence of a DNA preservative agent also appeared to be a reliable procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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