Spore longevity

Nan's Nook : Archives : Spores : Spore Printing : Spore Print Questions : Spore longevity
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Syringe Storage  -    
Long Term Storage of Strains/Mycelia  -    
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By saluras (Saluras) on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 11:56 pm:

i was wondering if anybody knows if you can just keep making prints of your shrooms and grow them that way forever? does the quality degrade over time?


By Purge (Purge) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 12:29 pm:

copied and pasted this from a post i made last week, maybe i'll have more luck here-

"i've read that cloned fruitbodies will not remain viable past a few generations. is this the case only when you clone every generation, or can you keep everything going by growing from prints every other generation?"


By Rockfish (Rockfish) on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 01:26 pm:

Question: Do spores keep better dry as prints or suspended in water?

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 08:53 am:

The documented shelf life of dry, refrigerated, spore prints on plastic, glass, foil, or acid free paper is 5 years.

Printing should be done on suitable material, dried over desiccant, sealed in a ziplock, and stored with a few grains of desiccant in the fridge. Freezing kills them, heat kills them. Non acid-free paper causes chemical degradation of the spores, figure a year or two of shelf life when the printing media is standard card stock.

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 09:27 am:

Purge: If your question has not already been answered...

Let us say we take a tissue sample from a shroom (true cloning) and use that sample to shoot some jars, then we clone the fruit... This is a second generation clone... If we continue the process beyond 3-4 generations we will likely encounter genetic senescence: either the strain will no longer fruit, the fruits will no longer produce fertile spores, the mycellia will lose the ability to resist contams, or growth will slow to a crawl.

However, up to the point where senescence rears it's ugly head you can Print a Sporulating Cap and obtain viable spores. (test them.... some prints are sterile...).

Germinating spores is a fresh start... If you clone from fruit bodies produced as the result of spore germination you are right back to a first generation clone again.

Theoretically a cloned strain can be carried forward a number of years: Let's go back to that initial tissue sample. If you were to take that sample and shoot several jars of liquid culture (Honey Tek, Dextrose Solution) and grow it out for a week, you can obtain many hundreds of cc's of liquid inoculum... All of this inoculum is first generation clone, and has a refrigerated shelf life of about one year in nutrient solution...

So you can shoot jars with this first generation clone for a year. At the end of a year you can clone a fruitbody and shoot liquid substrate again... For the next year you again have hundreds of cc's of inoculum, but this time it is second generation cloned mycellia. And so on... It will eventually go senescent after 4-5 years, maybe longer, maybe less... But in the meantime you can grow out and fruit many hundreds of jars/beds with the cloned strain.

Anytime you go back to spores you get a fresh start. Growing->printing->growing is a sustainable process and can be carried on indefinately. You can grow from cloned mycellia for a few generations, but you have to go back to spores every few years to maintain genetic stability.


By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 09:34 am:

BTW, spores that are hydrated (stored in sterile purified water) have a shelf life of just over one year in the fridge, about 8-10 months at stable room temps... These numbers are based on personal experiences. The longest shelf life for spores is in bone dry, dark, low oxygen, just above freezing, on non-chemically reactive media (paper sucks here). Five years is documented: I have no prints that old so I can't give you the benefit of personal experience.

By Liberty_Caps (Liberty_Caps) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 02:14 am:

I have a quick quiestion.
what stay better longer?????
when NOT refridgerated spore prints,,,,
or spore syringes????????

By Lichen (Lichen) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 02:16 am:

Prints on glass can be good for up to five years. Prints on card or paper are good for a couple years. Syringes are good in the fridge for a year

By quote: (Quote) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 02:17 am:

prints would last longer, the dried spores can be viable for decades.

By Lichen (Lichen) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 02:24 am:

Fanaticus says that after 1 1/2 years. the spores degrade. I always assumed he meant hydrated spores in a syringe. Nan has stated that glass-print spores are good for five years.

In the wild, some kinds of seeds are good for hundreds of years, others only for up to four. Likewise, some bacterial spores are good for centuries, so I would assume fungal spores would be, too, because in nature, sometimes many many years can go by before the right conditions come around...it's God's design

By Liberty_Caps (Liberty_Caps) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 04:47 am:

alright thanx guys.
I just store my prints on tinfoil, in a 1/2 pint jar.
I thought that would be better then a baggie

By Underground_Shaman (Shaman) on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 11:13 pm:

I thought that I had read somewhere that spores *can* be viable for decades.

If one were to try this, to start a strain library, are there any improvements one could make to enhance spore longevity?

my pet chinchilla was planning on using sterile (of course) glass slides, sealed with parafilm. Any ways to hedge his bets?

Your experience is greatly appreciated, as always.


By quote: (Quote) on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:34 pm:

i think labs store them immersed in some type of oil, but you'd need to do some research on that.

By Seraphim (Seraphim) on Wednesday, May 02, 2001 - 05:51

hey guys, question: are there any benefits to making a spore print over making a syringe (or vice versa)?

any particularly nice teks (pf's)?
if making prints, is drying pretty important?
for syringes, how did you sterilize?
anybody have any problems or bad experiences making one or the other?

any other advice would be much appreciated.

By Lizardking (Lizardking) on Wednesday, May 02, 2001 -6:06

when it comes to prints and syringes it's not really a question of either or. You have to make (or buy) a print to be able to make a syringe and you have to make (or buy)a syringe to innoculate.

I had success making a syringe from my own print the first try, it's not too complicated.

By Seraphim (Seraphim) on Wednesday, May 02, 2001 - 06:17


i am under the impression that dried spores (a print) last longer than hydrated spores (a syringe). if this is true, then it might be advantageous for me to make a print and keep it dry until i need to use it. however, if this (or the syringe) is easily contaminated, it might change what i do.... or if one is less tolerant of heat, etc, i might choose the other...

i'd like to see how people have done this, and what the degree of success is...

By Quote (Quote) on Wednesday, May 02, 2001 - 08:34 pm:

both can last years, and i understand for really long term store thery use tissue submersed in oil in slants.
but dry spores are very tough critters, you are correct in your thinking, that for most storage purposes, a print is preferable.

just store it sealed well.

By Oldtimer (Oldtimer) on Wednesday, May 02, 2001 - 11:42

If you are germinating spores on agar a slant is a great storage method. I always keep 1-2 slants in tubes with screw caps in the fridge for safe keeping. As for prints, a great way to keep 'em safe is to use Staments suggestion of storing them between two sheets of glass. They seem to keep forever this way plus they look really cool. Be sure to mark them with genera, strain, date, etc. Makes for a great spore library. I try to keep a print and a slant on everything I grow just in case I lose it or it turns out to be something special.

By Underground_Shaman (Shaman) on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 04:04 pm:

look what I found ;)

sez cultures can be stored on agar slants for 20 years, immersed in mineral oil. Damn, I didn't think that was possible. 20 year old cloned cultures? WOW!

Spores should be fine for many years on glass.


By Liberty_Caps (Liberty_Caps) on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 02:32 am:

well how long do they last on tin foil???

but anyway I qusse sense they last so long on glass, I was wondering if this would be a GOOD IDEA,,,,?, should I just make all my prints in half pint jar's, then when thier dry titen the lid real tight till I want to use them????? that way I will have a big spore gallery?????

and if it will work, say right after I take the mushroom cap ut because it's done printing.
can I just titen the lid when the spores are still moist????? or will they rot or something??? and store them that way.????
thanx everyone!

By Lichen (Lichen) on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 04:01 am:

jars are a good way to store spore prints, but you need to leave the lids loose for a day or two after the cap is removed

By AdNauseum (Mystrysabsynth) on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 04:25 am:

can you use glycerin also to store them in?


Shroom Glossary : Long Term Storage of Strains

By Rick (Npno) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 06:01 am:

How long can you store a syringe and still be able to get the spores to germinate?

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Thursday, January 31, 2002 - 06:23 am:

Should use it within a year for best results.

Could last much longer though.

Keep em in the fridge or a cool, dark, place.

By Veteran Cosmic Rocker (Silverpen) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 03:06 am:

Just some infor in case anyone is curious about how long a syringe is good for...I bought a syringe of Treasure Coast in March. I didn't innoculate until late November. The spores were still good and the fruiting nice.

By patoban (Patoban) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 05:02 am:

ok how about this one... summer of 98 i bought a homestead print from a local head shop, used half the print to do some jars, saved a cuople syringes from that print, kept them around in various places, stayed in a suitcase for a few months while i traveled, november of '01 i knocked up some jars... lost several jars to water getting in during sterilization, the rest grew out fine. frankly, i was amazedbut it would seem these spores are heartier than i thought