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Agar transfers: an alternative to scalpels and flames and such
    #25906836 - 03/30/19 11:43 PM (1 year, 11 months ago)

This idea totally and completely originated from this post by stareatclouds, and I definitely don't want to diminish the thought he put into those methods, but I feel like this is a genuine evolution, so I'm posting it separately:


The basic idea is to eliminate your scalpel, the necessity of taking it out of the box to flame-sterilize it, and all the air currents possibly generated by those movements, as vectors for contaminants.

Start with any sort of thin wood dowel (what I had on hand was 6" cotton swabs with wood shafts that ended up being too long, so I cut them down some), cut the ends with wire-cutters, which will pinch the end of the dowel into a very nice edge that will be very useful.  The depth of a pint jar is over 4 and 3/4 inches, so 4" - 4 3/4" is just about the right length for fitting two dowels across on a strip of foil, comfortably fitting in a quart jar for sterilization, and also long enough to keep your hands from needing to be over the plate's airspace while making the transfer.

Cut 1" strips of foil (or more if you want, 1" is probably close to the minimum necessary), then cut each strip in half, and lay your wood across each strip:

Fold the ends over:

Then fold the foil lengthwise across the wood, crimping it down with your fingernails (soft enough to avoid breaking the foil), and roll it around the wood:

Make as many as you want (or have the patience for, I don't do agar to agar transfers super often right now, so I didn't need that many), put them in a quart jar, and sterilize for 30 minutes @15psi:

When you need one, it's very easy to remove the foil from one end, scrape a tiny bit of mycelium from the donor plate (this is where the wire-cutter pinched edge comes in handy), and then scrape that mycelium into the recipient plate.

Once you've used the dowel, it can be re-wrapped and re-sterilized for later use.

And that's it.  A tool that is very easy to make, is perfectly sterile and easy to use, and doesn't require flames or removing your hands from your SAB. 

It will also do far less damage to the donor plate than taking a wedge would, and is completely appropriate for taking super tiny bits of mycelium from master culture slants, that you *really* don't want to damage or contaminate.  (although I suspect most people doing this use an inoculation loop or something similar to ensure the minimum amount of damage to the master)

I personally will never use a scalpel for agar-to-agar transfers again.  :smile:

Almost forgot!  Here is the first result of doing a transfer this way:

Edited by Sivarted (03/30/19 11:45 PM)

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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Cultivation

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