Blood Samples

Sample Instructions – Blood Samples


Blood or tissue samples are generally required for gene hunting projects. The white blood cells (WBC) are isolated from the blood sample, which also contains plasma and red blood cells (RBC). WBCs are a very small portion of the entire blood sample! DNA is isolated from the WBCs. Pure plasma or RBCs should have very little DNA. Since WBCs are needed, the blood sample should be collected in a tube or with a syringe that has an anti-coagulant. Any anti-coagulant can be used, including EDTA (purple top, ACD (yellow top) or heparin (green top). Purple top tubes are preferred since heparin can interfere with some DNA assays. If serum tubes (red top) are used, the WBCs will be engulfed by the clot and be very difficult to isolate. DNA can be isolated but it requires more isolation steps, thus please send these samples if red top tubes were accidently used. We prefer to collect approximately 2 – 5 mls of blood thus please collect 1 – 2 of the smallest purple top tubes. One tube can be collected from kittens.

Send Shipment to:

Leslie A. Lyons, PhD
Department of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
E109 Vet Med Building, 1520 E. Rollins St.
University of Missouri – Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Lab Phone: 01 573 884 2287 Lab e-mail:

Instructions for sending blood samples:

Samples need to be sent immediately by overnight courier, thus please arrange for the samples to be collected early in the day and early in the week. When you make the veterinary appointment, please inquire if the sample can be picked-up by an overnight courier from the clinic, otherwise you must be prepared to get the sample to the courier.You must package the sample as described below, thus be prepared with the packaging. If a sample can not be sent the same day, refrigerate the sample until shipping the next day. If a sample can not be sent for several days, the sample should be frozen and then sent as a frozen sample. If the sample must be sent on a Friday, please contact the lab for a different address for a Saturday delivery. Please provide your contact information, especially your own phone and or e-mail address, so that we can notify you of the sample’s arrival.Please include details on the sample, such as a pedigree and project information. Many samples come to the lab and may be processed by various individuals.

Send samples directly to the Lyons laboratory using this Submission Form

A Letter to US Customs is required for non-USA shipments.

Packaging Instructions:

Place the tube in a zip lock baggie. (If the tube breaks, then the sample is contained.Wrap the baggie in several paper towels for padding and insulation. Place the sample in a small box with one frozen ice pack. The sample should not freeze, thus be sure to insulate the tube from the ice pack with several paper towels. Seal the sample in the box.

Send samples directly to the Lyons laboratory using this Submission Form

Re-imbursement for tissue sample collection:

Many projects have special funding thus the cost for the collection of samples for these projects can be reimbursed. Reimbursement can be made directly to the owner or the veterinary clinic. The owner will have to provide a proper mailing address, phone number and social security number to be established as a vendor by the university. Reimbursement should take only a week or so. Reimbursement can also be made directly to the veterinary clinic if they will accept a payment after the procedure. Invoices should be sent with the samples or by a separate mailing. 

*All samples are for research purposes only. Any donations of sampling costs and shipment expenses is greatly appreciated!