Mushroom spores are valuable for microscopists and taxonomists. They’re not cheap, either, so it’s a shame when a syringe goes to waste due to completely avoidable mistakes.
Do you know how to store your spores and maintain their educational value?
These cells are durable, and not just anything exterminates them. Exposure to specific environments and chemicals will do the job, though. Improper storage diminishes their utility under the microscope and reduces their shelf life.
Keep reading to learn about spores, what kills them, and how to preserve them.
Mushrooms dig deep. The cap and stem make up the fruiting body above the ground, but that’s only a tiny section of the overall structure. Much of the fungus lies beneath, making up the mysterious mycelium. More importantly for mycologists, caps carry thousands of spore seeds.
To make a mushroom spore print, the cap is pressed against a surface to capture its unique appearance. In other cases, we pack these cells into syringes for research. Most people though, may not consider themselves fungusheads, and so they look for numerous ways to eliminate them.
When people want to kill mushroom spores in their gardens, they know it’s not enough to remove the fruiting body. Mowing only makes the spores release faster and rejoin the mycelium. Instead, these folks figured out which conditions and chemicals neutralize the reproductive cells.
Rarely any natural condition is a certified fungus killer, but isolated cells are more vulnerable. It takes careful handling to avoid unwittingly ruining your microscopy materials.
Exposing your Penis Envy mushroom spores to the following can negatively affect their viability.
Fungal fruiting bodies are relatively vulnerable, but mushroom spores are sturdier. Where the caps and stems die at over 90°F, the thermal death limit is closer to 120°F for the reproductive cells.
You won’t kill spores with heat if you don’t leave the syringe in direct sunlight. Excessive warmth and temperature fluctuations can still degrade them, though.
When left at room temperature, a syringe lasts up to a month. In comparison, placing it in stable conditions at 40°F extends the shelf life to 4–12 months.
We optimize our lab-grade mushroom spore syringes to maintain cell life for a long time. To do so, we dissolve the material in sterile water, as the moisture helps preserve it. In contrast, it can no longer survive when left to dry.
Once released from the syringe, these cells die relatively quickly. If storing the batch for future microscopy, leave a sealed bag away from the breeze. Place the cap on top of the container to prevent water leaks.
Salt exposure effectively neutralizes mushroom spores. It takes two tablespoons of salt dissolved in a gallon of water to deem them unviable. Sodium can also affect the surrounding soil to prevent mycelium re-growth.
If working with sporewater, keep it away from any salt. This substance doesn’t immediately kill the cells but does deteriorate their shelf life.
People who want to exterminate mushroom spores from their gardens sometimes use soap or baking soda instead of salt.
Spraying spores with a mix of a tablespoon of detergent per gallon of water can quickly subdue them. Small amounts of baking soda are equally detrimental to the contents of your syringe. While working with microscopy spores, keep them away from either substance.
Besides avoiding the above, keep your Golden Teacher mushroom spores safe with the following three practices.
Proper storage prevents your mushroom spores from going bad before and after usage. It eliminates the need to discard the entire syringe after using a fraction of its contents.
Here’s the process of resealing your mushroom spore syringe:
As a rule, label the one you used and empty it before opening the next one.
Mushroom spores prefer cold and dark places with controlled conditions. They can survive fluctuations, but each disturbance cuts their shelf life.
Choose a cold and dark place for storage. A cupboard works, but a fridge is an even more effective alternative. Pick a far and rarely-rearranged corner, preferably behind another item.
Since light also plays a role, choose an opaque plastic bag instead of a transparent one. That way, fridge lamps don’t disturb the material.
It might sound tempting to place the syringe in the freezer for even longer storage, but we’d advise against it. Freezing and unfreezing can damage the structural integrity of fungal cells.
Finally, keep the research area sterile while looking at your mushroom spores through the microscope.
Wipe your surfaces with alcohol wipes instead of detergent to avoid leading the cells to a soapy death. Never work in the kitchen or anywhere else where excessive amounts of salt or baking soda might reach the surface.
Awareness of spore killers ensures that every syringe in your possession remains valuable for longer. Avoid the chemicals and environments we mentioned, follow our storage tips, and never waste a fungal cell again.
Now that you have the theory, head to our shop and find the highest-quality mushroom spore syringes. Laboratory-grade and with excellent genetics, they set you up for fascinating research into the fifth family.