Sample Collection of Hair for DNA Analysis

Sample Collection of Hair for DNA Analysis

Preparation of Hair Samples for DNA Analysis
DNA is a relatively stable molecule but will degrade over time unless preserved properly. Hair sampling kits are available upon request through the NRDPFC. Sampling kits (NRDPFC-003a) include a paper envelope and insert in which hair samples are protected. It is extremely important to keep hair samples dry upon collection and shipment. DNA within hair can degrade very rapidly if left in harsh condition such as rain or moisture.

In order to avoid cross-contamination, it is important to wear clean latex gloves and use clean equipment on every sample. Furthermore, more than one sample should never be placed within the same envelope or bag.

Sampling Instructions
A sample of 15-20 hairs should be plucked from the specimen preferably from the back of the shoulder where hairs are thick and have large roots. If obtaining a sample from the shoulder is not possible, another location on the body will suffice. Specific hair sampling envelopes can be provided to aid in shipping these samples. See Figures 1A and B below.

Figures 1A and B
Outside and inside of sampling
envelope, respectively.

To place samples into the envelope (Figure 2 A, B, C, D) peel back the double-sided tape and place the hair with roots facing towards the top of the envelope ensuring that the roots are not stuck to the tape.
(A) Peel back the double-sided tape.

(B) Place hairs with roots facing
towards the top of the envelope.

(C) Seal the hair samples by resealing tape.

(D) Close-up of a completed sample
placed into an envelope

If hair sampling envelope is not available, place sample into a small sealed paper envelope or zip lock bag. Using permanent marker or pen, clearly include all sampling information with each sample. This includes, species name, field tag, sex, age, location including lat./long., UTM or township.
Hair samples should be shipped dry.

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