Tutorial on Spore prints of mushrooms

Spore prints – These are made by the many microscopic spores falling from the mushroom, leaving a photographic impression.

Significance – Each mushroom forms a characteristic pattern, so useful in identification and also a source of obtaining clean and homogenous spores for mushroom cultivation.

Methodology:

  1. Pick out a mature mushroom
  2. Remove the stem so that only the cap remains
  3. Place the cap on a piece of paper with the spore side down
  4. Cover the mushroom with glass bowl
  5. Keep it undisturbed for a day or so
  6. Remove the bowl and view your print.

Some important points to remember for making perfect spore prints:

  • Spore prints vary in size and depend on the size of the mushroom cap that drops the spores
  • Spore size depends on the species of mushrooms
  • Species with small caps leave small spore prints
  • Use a mature mushroom as it has more spores to print.
  • A freshly picked mushroom is more likely to have live spores than a store-bought one
  • Avoid using mushrooms that are shriveled, bruised or appear old.
  • Flat mushrooms create the best prints

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