Posted on Leave a comment

How to Use a Spore Syringe: The Ultimate Guide for Growing Medicinal and Gourmet Mushrooms

Discover the benefits of using a spore syringe for growing medicinal and gourmet mushrooms. This guide provides detailed instructions on making a spore syringe, offers valuable tips for using it effectively, and shares essential information on proper storage methods.

Why Use a Spore Syringe for Mushroom Cultivation?

Using a spore syringe offers several advantages when cultivating medicinal and gourmet mushrooms. Unlike other inoculation methods, such as liquid cultures or spore prints in agar, spore syringes provide a straightforward and reliable approach. By employing proper sterilization techniques, the risk of contamination remains relatively low. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cultivator, spore syringes allow for direct inoculation into the substrate, ensuring a consistent and controlled growth process. Not only are spores great for beginners, but they also allow you to really isolate your own personalized genetics – as multi-spore syringes contain billions of genetic potentials that can result in all sorts of different types of fruiting body.

Making a Spore Syringe for Mushroom Cultivation

To create a spore syringe, you’ll need a source of mushroom spores. Obtain spore prints, which are available online or from reputable vendors. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your spore syringe:

  1. Prepare a clean and low airflow environment, such as a still air box or a sterilized room with bleach-treated surfaces. Minimize contamination risks by wearing gloves and a mask.
  2. Sterilize a syringe (10-20ml) and sterile water in a pressure cooker, maintaining the temperature at 15psi for at least 30 minutes for thorough sterilization.
  3. Allow the water to cool to room temperature to prevent damage to the spores. It’s recommended to let the water cool overnight.
  4. Sterilize tweezers and a scalpel using a flame.
  5. Using the sterilized tweezers, retrieve the spore print and hold it over the opening of a sterile shot glass or small dish.
  6. With the sterilized scalpel, carefully scrape a small amount of spores from the print and transfer them into the sterile water in the shot glass or dish.
  7. Fill the syringe by inserting the tip into the spore solution and drawing it up. Repeat the process a few times for even distribution of spores in the water.
  8. Allow the spore syringe to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days to ensure complete hydration.
  9. Store the spore syringe in an airtight ziplock bag in the refrigerator. Properly stored spore syringes can remain viable for up to 12 months.

Using a Spore Syringe for Mushroom Cultivation

Using a spore syringe to inoculate your chosen substrate is a relatively simple process. Follow these steps for effective usage:

  1. Ensure the substrate and environment are prepared for inoculation, following appropriate sterilization protocols.
  2. If using a jar with microporous tape or a plug, create an entry point by piercing the tape or removing the plug for the spore solution.
  3. Squirt a small amount (usually a drop or two) of the spore solution onto the substrate, considering the size of the jars or containers.
  4. Maintain a sterile environment by covering the entry points with new microporous tape or replacing the plugs.
  5. Place the inoculated jars or containers in a suitable warm and dark location.
  6. Monitor the growth progress and ensure the substrate remains free from contamination.

Proper Storage of a Spore Syringe

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the viability of a spore syringe. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Always refrigerate the spore syringe between 2°C and 8°C. Store it in darkness to prevent degradation of the spores.
  2. Avoid freezing the spore syringe, as the freezing process can damage the spores’ cells.
  3. With optimal storage conditions, spore syringes can remain viable for up to 12 months. However, note that spores naturally lose viability over time.

Reusing a Spore Syringe

Spore syringes can be reused multiple times if sterilized properly and undamaged. Sterilize the syringe by filling it with sterilized boiling water or using a pressure cooker. The needle can be sterilized using a flame

Mastering the use of a spore syringe is essential for successfully cultivating a variety of medicinal and gourmet mushroom species. Whether you’re a first-time grower or an experienced cultivator, this guide equips you with the knowledge to harness the power of spore syringes in your mushroom-growing endeavors.

Disclaimer: Always comply with local laws and regulations regarding the cultivation and use of mushrooms or any other substances.

Posted on Leave a comment

Spore Syringe vs Liquid Culture

What is the difference between a spore syringe vs liquid culture?

Multispore syringes and mushroom liquid cultures are distinctively different and easy to tell apart. A mushroom spore syringe will have small (sometimes barley visible) black specks called spores. Liquid mycelium syringes on the other hand will have a cloud of white clumpy mycelium.

What is the difference between a spore syringe and a liquid culture?

Multispore syringes contain mushroom spores that are basically seeds, whereas liquid culture mycelium is like the already developed roots of the fungi. In this sense, the liquid culture has already got a head start on the growth process. The spores still need to become mycelium. This makes for quicker colonization times for liquid culture mycelium, where as multispore syringe inoculation can take a very long time.

Do spores take longer than liquid cultures?

Yes, they do, but you can just make liquid culture from spores via spores to liquid culture. Keeping multispore syringes or spore prints is a great way to preserve genetics and store long term, as spores last a very long time (at least 12 months if made correctly, can last many years). Liquid cultures on the other hand have a shelf life of about 6 months when kept in the fridge.

What is a multispore syringe?

A multispore syringe is spores taken from a spore print and suspended in distilled sterilized water. There are thousands (sometimes millions) of microscopic spores in a multispore syringe or on a multispore spore print. Each one of these single spores contain a unique genetic code, that when combined with other spores has a randomized and unique genetic make up for the later growing fungi. For this reason, when using a multispore syringe, the resulting mycelium and fruiting bodies will have totally random genetics that are based off of a specific set of genetics for that particular mushroom variety, strain, species, etc. Check out more about mushroom spores here.

At the end of the day when it comes down to spore syringe vs liquid culture, both mushroom liquid cultures and multispore syringes and spore prints have unique uses of their own depending how you would personally like to utilize them.