Spore Prints & Spore Syringes
This section of Let's Grow Mushroms covers the procedures for taking mushroom sporeprints. With gilled mushrooms, the process is easy. Simply place the mushroom cap with the gill side down for a few hours and allow the spores to drop onto the paper, foil, wax paper etc., which you’ve selected for printing. If you’re printing a mushroom with dark spores, it helps to use light colored paper or foil to make it easier to see the spores later. If you’re printing a mushroom with white spores, such as oyster or Shiitake mushrooms, select darker paper for the same reason.
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Other types of fungi such as Hericium (Lion’s Mane) drop spores from long tube-like projections and these mushrooms can be printed by hanging them over the paper, so that it will catch the spores as they eject. In general, I recommend ‘cleaning up’ any sporeprints by swiping a few spores onto agar in a Petri dish. This way, you can isolate pure mushroom mycelium from any natural contaminants that may have landed on your printing paper at the same time as the mushroom spores. You can see the procedures recommended by watching the appropriate chapters on agar and Petri dishes, where these procedures are demonstrated on the Let’s Grow Mushrooms video. However, for those of you without laminar flow hoods who are learning how to grow mushrooms, the use of a spore or liquid culture syringe to inoculate BRF (brown rice flour) cakes or jars of grain is recommended. This chapter of the video demonstrates our technique for taking spore prints and making mushroom spore syringes.
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Marc R Keith
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