Mushroom Spore Syringe Vs. Spore Print: Which is Best?

What is the difference between a spore syringe and a spore print? And most importantly, which is better? Mushroom spores are the microscopic cells responsible for the growth of magic mushrooms. The identifying and studying of these spores under a microscope is now an activity enjoyed by researchers worldwide.

As a budding mycologist, you may be wondering how you can obtain these unicellular reproductive cells and in which form, spore syringe or print?

While a single spore is microscopic, mushrooms produce spores in staggering numbers – some can produce billions of spores per day – making it possible to collect and store them. These spores can then be sold online in the form of prints or syringes. 

PNW Spore Co. is one of the most reliable online stores – see our customer reviews here – where you can get high-quality mushroom spores for research. When shopping for spores, you will come across syringes (spore syringes are what we sell) and prints. What’s the difference – and what is the best way to store spores?

Here’s what you should know about syringes vs. prints.

What Is A Spore Syringe?

A spore syringe is a sterile syringe that contains spores suspended in sterile water or another non-nutritious aqueous solution. Spore syringes are the preferred way of transporting spores and are used by researchers for their ease of application.

Spore syringes come in different capacities, but at PNW Spore, we stick to the standard 10cc.

So why use a syringe, you ask? Syringes are more secure during storage and transport, convenient, and easy to work with. Syringes are easier to work with as a mycologist as they allow for easier dispensing and inoculation (NOTE: any usage of our P. Cubensis spore syringes other than for microscopy purposes is currently illegal under U.S. law) compared to spore prints. 

Using sterilized syringes and water also helps reduce the risk of contamination and debris, which can affect research results. 

What Is A Spore Print?

When a healthy and productive mushroom matures, it produces a large number of spores below the cap and releases them into the environment. These spores can be collected by carefully removing the cap from the stem and placing it on a flat, clean surface such as paper, glass, tin foil, or even plastic.

Over time, the cap will drop a pattern of spores onto the surface. This is known as a spore print. Spore prints vary in size, shape, and color depending on the mushroom species and how long it’s left to print. A small spore print can contain millions of individual spores and can make several spore syringes. 

How To Make A Spore Syringe From A Print

Do you have spore prints that you want to make into spore syringes? Making mushroom spore syringes is not complicated; you can even do it at home with easily accessible equipment. The main concern is to be careful to avoid contamination, as this will affect your research results.

To make a spore syringe from a spore print, you will need the following tools:

  • Spore print
  • Sterile syringe
  • Water
  • Shot glass
  • Glass jar
  • Tweezers
  • Scalpel 
  • Pressure cooker 
  • Zip lock 
  • Still air box or laminar flow hood (recommended to avoid contamination)
  • Burner or hob
  • Latex gloves and a mask
  • Aluminum foil

Ensure the working space is clean and there is no air movement, as this may blow away or contaminate the spores. We also recommend wearing latex gloves and a mask.

Start by sterilizing the water and shot glass. For this step, wrap the glass jar with aluminum foil, fill it with water and place the cap loosely; wrap the shot glass in aluminum, and put them in the pressure cooker.

Apply heat until the pressure reaches 15 psi, lower the temperature, and heat for at least 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the water to cool to room temperature. Use a flame to sterilize the tweezers and scalpels. 

With everything cooled to room temperature, remove the sterilized water and shot glass from the pressure cooker, take the sterilized syringe and your spore print and place everything in the still air box. NOTE: a laminar flow hood is recommended to avoid contamination.

Using the syringe, transfer 10ml of the sterile water to the shot glass. Use the scalpel to scrape off the spores from the print into the water. 

Fill the syringe with the mixture of water and spores. Leave the filled syringe at room temperature for 24-72 hours to allow the spores to hydrate, then place it in an airtight ziplock bag before storing it in the fridge.

The spores will remain viable for up to 12 months.

Spore Syringe Vs. Print: Which Is Better?

Spore syringes are convenient and easy to use, especially for beginner microscopy enthusiasts, while prints are great for making syringes as well as studying under a microscope. The best option may come down to personal preference, so experiment and find out what best suits your needs.

If you are into making spore syringes, ensure you prepare a clean environment to work in to reduce the risk of contamination. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made spore syringes online from reputable stores like ours.

At PNW Spores, we offer high-quality spores for research from premium Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms species, including the legendary Penis Envy, Acadian Coast, Albino Golden Teacher, Blue Meanie, etc. Order P. Cubensis mushroom spores online from us today and start your journey into the world of mycology!

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