The process used in making Spore Syringes

Culturing mushrooms is done using many processes. Employing spore syringes is one of them. It is said that spore syringes are very useful in the culturing process. These are quite potent. About 20ml of spore solution is capable of inoculating 6-7 liters of mushroom substrate. A simple trick is to add a few mls of spore solution in every corner of the substrate; it is sufficient to achieve the culturing purposes. 

Detailed process to make spore syringes

Making spore syringes is a must to learn, especially when you want some safer techniques to adopt. Learning safer ways of making spore syringes offers a reliable way to get ample shield from harmful fumes if any. Secondly, the spore syringes can offer a quick and effective way of inoculating the substrate. Here is the stepwise procedure for making spore syringes.

  1. Collect the materials required for making syringes.

Here is the list of items you will require for making spore syringes. Common things to include are:

  • Sterile syringe
  • Blunt-tip Sterile syringe needle 
  • Distilled water
  • A mason jar
  • Syringe caps
  • Spore print
  • A pressure cooker that can maintain 15psi
  • Tinfoil
  • Scalpel
  • Still airbox (SAB) 
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • Lysol 
  • Surgical gloves and mask
  • Flame, etc.
  1. The main process

Follow these steps to make an effective sponge syringe:

  • Pressure cook water for 30 minutes. Take care to maintain pressure at 15psi. It results in a completely sterilized substrate medium.
  • Cool down the water.
  • Clean the still airbox with 70% isopropyl alcohol before setting it up.
  • Take the scalpel and heat it on the flame to sterilize. Allow it to cool down in the still air box.
  • Now scrape the spores off the spore print and add these to sterilized water.
  • From this spore-inoculated water, fill up a syringe and then release it back in the water. It ensures that the spores are dispersed evenly in the sterilized water medium.
  • Suck the fluid again using the syringe and cap it properly.
  • Leave this syringe as such for a couple of days before applying it for the inoculation process.
  1. Some guidelines to follow to prepare the spore syringe

Keep these guidelines in mind to ensure that the spore syringe does not lose its effectiveness and serves the purpose aptly:

  • Use only well-sterilized water
  • Preparing the correct amount of water is essential too. Always decide in advance how many syringes you want and then prepare the water accordingly.
  • Select the syringe size. In mycology, you can find syringe sizes ranging from 3ml to 20ml. 
  • Now multiply the volume of syringes with the number of syringes to get the required quantity of water to be sterilized. You can add 3 ml to the calculated water quantity to be on the safer side.
  1. Some essential questions to ask

  • How many spore syringes can one make from a spore print?

You must know that a spore sprint can have millions of spores’ colonies. It also depends upon the density and size of the spore print. A faint print is likely to yield a 10ml syringe full of spores. And if the print is dense and big, the number of syringes of 10ml capacity can go up to 30. 

  • What happens if the sterilized water is not cooled down?

It can lead to the killing of spores. The hot sterilized water does not provide optimal temperatures for spores to sustain. So, it is essential to cool down the sterilized temperature completely before scraping off and adding spores into it.

  • Why making a still air box is required?

A still air box has internal conditions suitable for mycology experiments. The idea of having a still airbox is to have a storage box in which air is clean and free from contaminants. Spore culturing requires sterilized water and equipment like scalpel, etc. free from any kind of contamination. 

  • How is the still air box made?

A still air box is usually a box with 83 liters capacity. The size of the box can vary according to your requirement. Basic steps include:

  • Mark the points where you want holes according to your arms
  • Create enough space so that both arms can be put simultaneously between the holes
  • Mark the tin to find exact locations where to put holes
  • Strip the tin back to the metal surface
  • Now put the tin on hob. While doing so, ensure that your place of work is well-ventilated
  • Heat the tin keeping the top rim side down. Once it has become sufficiently hot, take the tin out carefully, keeping the hot end away. 
  • Place it in the storage box so that it comes off it easily.

Repeat the same process for other holes. The final result is an excellent still air box that can provide you a perfect medium for keeping the tools for syringe making well-protected and decontaminated.