Mushroom Spores Collection Techniques
Mushrooms, unlike plants, reproduce by dispersing spores, which evolve into new fungal growth, from which new mushrooms will ultimately form. If you want to cultivate your own mushrooms, you’ll need spores to get the fungal culture started. While spores for various mushroom strains can be purchased, if you have access to fresh mushrooms, you can harvest your own spores for later usage. Many spore variations can last for months or even years after being extracted.
To start producing mushrooms, various mushroom strains require different resources. Some strains thrive on grain-based substrates, while others need wood or a lot of organic material to thrive. Find out what the best growing medium is for the mushrooms you’re trying to produce, as well as how tough it is to develop fresh fungal growth.
At Shaman Mushrooms Spores, we’re proud to offer a wide range of magic mushroom spores and psilocybin spores for microscopic study. It’s worth noting that the mushroom spores for sale are for the purposes of study only, as per federal U.S. law. We do not recommend harvesting or growing your own psilocybe cubensis spores or psilocybin mushroom spores, as this is against the law in most U.S. territories and states.
Different Ways to Collect Mushroom Spores
The mushroom’s function in life is to create spores, or “seeds,” as the reproductive bodies of fungi. Each variety of fungus has a distinct spore type and releases them in varied patterns depending on the shape of the mushroom cap’s underside. The easiest mushrooms to collect spores from are gill mushrooms, however any kind may be gathered with sufficient practice.
So, how do you get mushroom spores? Making a spore print is the most frequent method for extracting spores from mushrooms. Real mycologists, not want tobes like me, utilize spore prints to identify fungi. The color, shape, texture, and pattern of the expelled spores are used to identify the mushroom. This may be done using a spore print rather than a high-powered microscope. The non-scientist may utilize the spore print to cultivate some succulent fungus appropriate for putting on a pizza or anything. A spore syringe, in addition to the other ways we’ll explore in this book, is another way to gather spore.
Creating a Mushroom Spore Print
Gently remove the cap off your mushroom, cutting the stem off if required so that no part of the stem protrudes from the cap. When removing the stem, do not shake or crush the cap, since this will cause the mushroom to release spores.
Remember that some mushroom strains are toxic and should not be consumed. Use only mushrooms that you can absolutely identify or that were produced using spores from a recognized source when cultivating mushrooms for eating, so there is no uncertainty about their safety.
The gills or pores on the underside of the cap should face down on a white piece of paper or index card. If you’re collecting spores from a huge mushroom cap, cut it into sections and place only one segment on the paper; if you want to gather spores from many sections, use multiple pieces of paper.
To assist mushroom spore dispersal, place a drop of water on top of the mushroom cap. Cover the cap or cap part with a cup or bowl to keep any kind of wind or similar air movements from disturbing the mushroom cap while it releases spores onto your print. Make sure the container is large enough to avoid making contact with the cap.
Allow the spores to release for up to 24 hours without touching the cap. Some mushrooms release their spores in a matter of hours, but it’s preferable to give them a little more time to guarantee that most, if not all, of them are discharged. Once the 24-hour waiting period has passed, remove the container with the cap. Carefully raise the mushroom top, keeping one hand on the paper to keep it steady, to show the spore print beneath. The spore print will most likely reflect the gill or pore pattern on the bottom of the mushroom cap if the paper was not disturbed throughout the waiting time.
Remove the mushroom cap and store the spore print somewhere that won’t be disturbed too much. Spores can be taken from the paper at any moment for growth by carefully scraping them off with a knife or other instrument. When scraping off spores, apply only light pressure, since any large impact to the paper might cause most, if not all, of the spores to discharge. Keep spore prints somewhere dry. Excessive moisture can injure the spores or stimulate hazardous bacterial development, which can then spread to any fungal growth that arises from the spores.
How to Collect Mushroom Spores in a Syringe
A mushroom spore syringe is used to inoculate your chosen substrate and is an essential aspect of cultivating your own mushrooms. The genetic information for the mushrooms you may anticipate to produce is held in the miniscule spores floating around in the spore solution. When cultivating mushrooms, one of the most successful and simple germination strategies is to mix your spores into sterile water inside a syringe.
Using a spore syringe in conjunction with a flow hood is probably the easiest method to keep your mushroom grow clean. There are alternative inoculation techniques, such as liquid cultures, that will be discussed later. A spore syringe, on the other hand, permits spores to be administered directly to the substrate without chance of contamination (when done properly).
This strategy is difficult to top if you’re a first-time grower. It’s a simple and dependable procedure that even a novice can follow. Many seasoned farmers, in fact, continue to use this strategy.
To build a spore syringe, you’ll need some mushroom spores first. These may be purchased as spore prints.
Prepare a clean atmosphere with as little airflow as possible to reduce the chance of contamination. This should be done in a still air box or under a laminar flow hood. If this isn’t possible, use a small area with bleachable surfaces. Consider putting on gloves and a mask as well.
However, keep in mind that this stage does not provide the highest danger of contamination, so don’t go excessive. However, any additional caution will pay off, as mushroom cultivation is a lengthy and intricate process, and there’s nothing worse than discovering a moldy mess months later!
Take the spore print from its storage and place it over the aperture of the little dish with your tweezers. Carefully scrape some of the spores into the water using a scalpel. Fill your syringes as soon as possible—dunk the tip of your first syringe in the water and fill it up. Empty the syringe into the shot glass and repeat the operation many times. Do this every time you add new spores to ensure that they are evenly distributed throughout the water.
After filling the syringe, let it sit at room temperature for 2–3 days to allow the spores to fully hydrate. Once hydrated, put your spore syringes in the fridge in an airtight ziplock bag. They may last up to a year if properly cared for.
How to Collect Mushroom Spores with a Swab
A sterile cotton swab is used to capture the valuable spores by passing it over the gills of the mushroom cap. Because certain strains have a spore drop percentage of 0-5%, getting spore prints from them is very difficult. Some mushroom species are only available as spore swabs for these reasons. Spore swabs, like spore prints, have a very extended shelf life. However, applying spores on a glass slide with a spore swab is significantly more difficult than using a spore syringe or spore print.
Tips for Collecting Mushroom Spores
- Make sure your work environment is sterile before using a syringe. Hands should be disinfected, gloves used, and tools wiped down with alcohol.
- Because spores lack chlorophyll, they must rely on sources other than light for nutrition in order to germinate. Sawdust and straw, as well as wooden plugs and grain, are all suitable ingredients.
- There are approximately 14,000 distinct varieties of mushrooms, many of which are dangerous and others which are pleasant to eat. Some of the more common types may be cultivated at home with a few basic instructions, but be careful not to eat a toxic mushroom. While it is allowed to ingest psilocybin mushrooms in some areas, many people have been ill after mistaking dangerous mushrooms for magic mushrooms.
- All you need is the top of the mushroom with the gills showing on the bottom to get a spore print. Place the mushroom on the paper with the gills facing down and cover with a glass. Avoid rubbing your mushroom on the paper; gentleness is essential.
- After completing the above methods, you should have a spore print that you may use to culture and develop your mushrooms. This can be accomplished by making a spore syringe, in which the spores are rehydrated with sterile water and then injected into the growth media. Keep in mind that farming psychedelic mushrooms is prohibited in the majority of countries.
- Not all mushrooms have a spore-producing surface that is beautiful and flat. Chanterelles do not have spore-producing ridges on the outside of the glass; they are fashioned like little martini glasses. Morel spores are found in pits on the outside of a bell-shaped cap. The little hairy orbs resemble the Lion’s Mane and its cousins. Puffballs do not produce spores outside of a ball with only one hole at the top. While the pore surfaces of the polypores, or conks, face obligingly down and are frequently pleasantly flat, many of them are rough or even woody. When harvesting the spores of your selected fungus, keep this in mind.
Can I Collect Spores from the Wild?
The high number of contaminants found in the natural setting makes collecting spores from the wild difficult. Collecting spores from a wild specimen before the veil breaks is the best technique to ensure reduced isolation. Small volumes of sterile water are injected into the cap, then drawn out many times at various locations on the cap to collect the spores. After collection, the easiest technique to isolate the spores is to separate the medium with a centrifuge before transferring to agar. This will cut down on the amount of isolation required to achieve a clean culture. Because centrifuges and the knowledge required to operate them are uncommon, many people rely on numerous agar isolations.
Don’t forget to browse our shop full of mushroom spore syringes and Psychedelic Mushroom Spores today!