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Why do we use glycerol for bacterial stocks (frozen) and DMSO for eukaryotic cel - (Feb/25/2014 )

Are these interchangeable?


Traditionally people have used DMSO for mammalian cells and glycerol for bacteria. However, they can be used interchangeably. Glycerol can be used in eukaryotic cells and is actually less toxic than DMSO (i.e. better to use with cells that are sensitive to DMSO) but it causes more osmotic problems (i.e. osmotic lysis).  Additionally, glycerol is a metabolite so you also do not need to remove it after thawing and plating cells. DMSO is a better cryoprotectant for osmotic reasons but the downside is its toxicity. Hope that helps.