It is possible to get spores from dried mushrooms. Using them as your source material for cultivation is not easy. It requires patience, experience, and the proper tools. This means sterile technique, controlled environments, and a thorough understanding of mushroom cultivation. This technique is not recommended for amateur growers or novices.
Getting Spores from dried Mushrooms
To get spores from dried mushrooms, you need to ensure the following about your specimens:
- They have been dried at low temperatures not exceeding more than 120F. While some spores handle higher temperatures, many degrade with heat.
- The dried mushrooms have mature reproductive tissues. Immature mushrooms or non-reproductive parts (like stems) will not be easy to work with.
- Mushrooms were not treated with preservatives or chemicals that degrade spores/inhibit germination.
If you can check all the above, it’s likely you’ll be able to get some spores from your dried mushrooms. Like mentioned, taking these spores and growing them is not easy.
What are the Difficulties with using spores from dried Mushrooms?
The biggest issue with using spores from dried mushrooms is contamination. This occurs from unwanted microorganisms present on your dried mushrooms. This includes fungi and bacteria that interfere with the growth of mycelium.
Growing Spores on Agar
Growing from spores is generally regarded as a more experienced process. It requires working with agar as a medium. You do this work with sterilized materials and within a controlled environment. Amateur growers often do this within still air boxes. More invested and experienced cultivators use laminar flow hoods.
After achieving germination, you will likely need several transfers to clean your culture. Once you get a clean culture you can transfer it into liquid mediums, grain spawn, or more petri plates.
Can you culture Tissues from dried Mushrooms?
It is possible, but also a complicated process. Not all dried tissues will work, and it may be slow before you see any growth. Often, contamination will outcompete your mycelium of choice. Like growing from spores, this means several transfers to clean your culture.
Better Alternatives for Novice Growers
If you’re new to mushroom cultivation, consider starting with an easier process. The most recommended is starting with grain spawn. Alternatively, you can start with a liquid culture or a premanufactured grow kit. If you are serious about it, don’t waste your time with unsuccessful experiments!