How to Make Liquid Culture From Spore Print

How to Make Liquid Culture From Spore Print

Liquid culture is a popular method used by mushroom cultivators to propagate mycelium and produce a large quantity of mushroom spawn. It involves creating a nutrient-rich solution that allows the spores or mycelium to grow and multiply rapidly. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of making liquid culture from a spore print.

Materials Needed:
– Spore print
– Sterilized water
– Nutrient solution (such as malt extract or potato dextrose)
– Glass jar with a lid
– Alcohol or bleach for sterilization
– Pressure cooker or autoclave
– Syringe or inoculation loop
– Sterile environment (such as a laminar flow hood or a glovebox)

Step 1: Prepare the Nutrient Solution
Prepare the nutrient solution by following the instructions provided with the specific medium you are using. Typically, this involves dissolving the medium in sterilized water and sterilizing the mixture in a pressure cooker or autoclave. Remember to cool the solution before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Sterilize the Equipment
Sterilize the glass jar, syringe or inoculation loop, and any other equipment used in the process. This can be done by soaking them in alcohol or bleach and then allowing them to air dry in a clean environment. A sterile environment, such as a laminar flow hood or a glovebox, is highly recommended to minimize the risk of contamination.

Step 3: Collect the Spores
Carefully remove the spore print from its packaging, ensuring that it remains undisturbed. A spore print is commonly obtained by placing the cap of a mature mushroom on a piece of sterile paper or glass and covering it with a clean container. After 24 to 48 hours, the spores will drop onto the paper or glass.

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Step 4: Add Spores to the Nutrient Solution
Using a sterile syringe or inoculation loop, transfer a small amount of spores from the spore print into the sterilized nutrient solution. The exact amount will depend on the instructions provided with your nutrient solution, but it is generally recommended to start with a small quantity to prevent contamination.

Step 5: Incubate the Liquid Culture
Seal the glass jar tightly with its lid and shake it gently to distribute the spores evenly. Place the jar in a warm and dark environment with a temperature range suitable for the specific mushroom species. Ensure that the jar is not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations. Allow the liquid culture to incubate for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the species and desired growth.

Step 6: Harvest the Mycelium
Once the liquid culture has reached the desired growth stage, it can be used to inoculate sterilized grain or other substrates for mushroom cultivation. Use a sterile syringe to extract the liquid culture, ensuring that no contaminants enter the syringe. Inject the liquid culture into the desired substrate using proper aseptic techniques.


1. Can I use a spore syringe instead of a spore print?
Yes, you can use a spore syringe instead of a spore print to create liquid culture. Simply inject a small amount of spore solution into the sterilized nutrient solution, following the same steps mentioned above.

2. How long does it take for the liquid culture to grow?
The time required for liquid culture growth varies depending on the species and environmental conditions. It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Regular observation and monitoring are necessary to determine the ideal time for harvest.

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3. How can I prevent contamination?
Maintaining a sterile environment throughout the process is crucial to prevent contamination. Ensure that all equipment is properly sterilized, and work in a clean and controlled environment, such as a laminar flow hood or a glovebox. Additionally, proper hygiene practices, such as wearing gloves and a face mask, can help minimize the risk of contamination.

4. Can I store the liquid culture for future use?
Yes, liquid culture can be stored for future use. It is best to store it in the refrigerator at a temperature between 2-6°C (36-43°F). However, keep in mind that the viability of the mycelium decreases over time, so it is advisable to use the liquid culture within a few months for optimal results.

5. How can I tell if my liquid culture is contaminated?
Contamination in a liquid culture can manifest in various forms, such as discoloration, foul smell, or the presence of mold or bacteria. If you notice any signs of contamination, it is essential to discard the liquid culture immediately to prevent further spread of contaminants.

Making liquid culture from a spore print is an efficient way to propagate mycelium and produce abundant mushroom spawn. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking necessary precautions to maintain a sterile environment, you can successfully create liquid culture for your mushroom cultivation endeavors.