Illuminating the Differences Between Spore Prints, Spore Syringes, and Spore Swabs

Mushroom spore prints are obtained by cutting a mushroom cap off the stem after the veil opens. The cap is then placed gills down over a piece of foil or paper in a sterile environment for ~24 hours. Next, the mushroom cap is removed and the spore print is placed into a sterile sleeve.

Mushroom spore syringes are made by taking spores from a spore print and suspending them in sterile water. While spore prints typically have more spores than syringes, many people find that syringes are more convenient to work with, since the spores are already suspended in water.

Finally, some strains of mushrooms do not drop spores at all. In these cases, spores are obtained by running a swab through the gills of the mushroom, collecting the spores at the tip of the swab.

Regardless of the delivery method, each of these formats provides you with an excellent subject matter for your microscopy endeavors!

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