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Spore Prints and Syringes FAQ
You've got questions, we've got answers.
What can I do with a sporeprint?You can either make a syringe and use this to inoculate pf cakes, transfer the spores to agar medium or directly to sterilized grain substrates. With a dark spore print, an area of 1cm x 1 cm (2/5in x 2/5 in) is sufficient to create one spore syringe. Store the print in a dark, dry, cold place (for instance sealed plastic bag in the fridge).
How many syringes can I make with one print?Several. One dark spore print is enough to make several syringes, 1 square centimeter(2/5 x 2/5 inch) is plenty for one syringe.
How long is a print viable?A print is viable for several years if stored in a cold, dark and dry place.
How long is a syringe viable?Under right conditions up to several years. If kept in a fridge a syringe is viable without much loss of viability for around 6 months, but syringes as old as 2.5 years and older have been reported still viable.
How long should I wait before using a freshly-made syringe?You should wait approximately 24 hours after making the syringe to allow the spores to rehydrate. If a print is older, longer rehydration times of up to 2 weeks have been known to improve viability.
When should I pick a mushroom to make a spore print?The right time is once the cap has opened and begins to throw spores, visible as purple deposit on and under the cap, for instance on the stem or on the veil or on the surface of the cake or substrate. Ideally, wait until the cap has mostly flattened out.
How can I make a spore print?This is just a short outline. Obviously you will want to wash your hands and work in a clean environment to perform the following steps:
- take a clean material you want to print on (fresh tin foil, transparency, glass slides....)
- cut a mature cap off the stem as near to the gills as possible with a clean scalpel or knife
- place the cap on the printing material gills down
- cover the cap with a jar or place the printing material in a plastic container (Tupperware...) with lid on.
- let sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature (most species)
up the cap, replace the jar and let the print dry for a few hours. Do
not let it dry in open air or contaminates will settle on the print.
- fold the print and tape the edges or leave it as is and put into a new small plastic zip baggie.
- label and store in a dark, cold and dry place.
Is it legal for me to purchase a syringe and have it shipped to my house?The laws differ by location and there is no simple answer. In many countries, spores are entirely legal because they do not contain any controlled substances. This is true of most US states, but excludes California, Idaho, and Georgia.
Can I grow mushrooms using spores from a bag of dried shrooms?While technically possible, you don't want to get spores from a bag of mushrooms unless you are an experienced cultivator. They'll be contaminated with random mold spores and bacteria, and you would need to culture them on agar first to isolate an uncontaminated section of mycelium. Check out our list of sponsors for trusted, highly reliable spore vendors.
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