Keeping Mushroom Cultures For Long Pe... Return To Archives | Search

Please Visit Our New Forums at Mycotopia
Please visit our Sponsors

Mycotopia Web Archive Archive Cloning. Cloning Using Dry Tissue Keeping Mushroom Cultures For Long Period Of Time Previous Next

ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page
Topic Author Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post

Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

Stephen L. Peele (Fmrc)
Senior Member
Username: Fmrc

Post Number: 160
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:52 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Reading some of the posts here, I see there are those who wish to learn more about preserving mushroom cultures. It also appears that many do not understand that mycelium can be dried and stored. This is how it has been done by culture banks for many years. And the dried mushroom itself, well, it is just a big clump of dried mycelium! Read and enjoy..........slp/fmrc

Storing Mushroom Cultures For Long Periods Of Time
The following was taken from ?THE MUSHROOM RESEARCHER?, By Stephen L. Peele, Copyrighted 1993, ?Maintaining And Keeping The Sacred Mushroom Cell Culture?.

Many different techniques for preserving mushroom cultures will be discussed. Some species may not do well under certain techniques. If one technique does not work well, you must try another. Loss of the culture during storage, or actual cell death during the preparation, will mean finding another technique. You must keep trying until you find the right technique that will keep the culture?s viability during storage. Once the right technique is found for a specific species, the culture will survive for many years.

Some of the cells may die during preparation for storage. This can cause a more resistant population of cells to survive. These cells can change the characteristics of the original culture. Because of this, the technique you choose for preserving a culture must give the highest number of viable cells so that the preserved culture is as close to the original as possible.

Sometimes you may want to keep a culture because it has certain characteristics. You do not want it to lose these characteristics, or suddenly acquire any new ones. The loss of certain characteristics, or the addition of new ones, is usually brought about by the loss of plasmids, or mutations. The technique you choose should minimize this change of genetic material.

The preserved mushroom culture should always be pure and uncontaminated.

One should also consider the cost of storing cultures. Freeze drying can be expensive, but it can also make up for not having a large staff on the payroll. Its long term storage will also allow for fewer people on the staff. One technique might do well for small collections. The same technique might call for too much labor when large collections are kept. If you have a culture and it is very dear and important, you of course will want to minimize the risk of losing it. It is usually best to store these type cultures under several techniques.

Remember that different species of mushrooms have different tolerances to various storage techniques. It is not likely that one single technique will do well with all species. All pros and cons must be considered. When trying a specific technique, test the viability after 5 ? 7 days, again every several months. If the technique works well, stay with it. If it fails during testing, try another one.


Most all mushroom cultures can be held by this method for very long periods of time. This procedure has been successfully applied to nearly all fungi and many other microorganisms. There are several different techniques, but they all require the removal of water from the live culture.

In the wild, let?s look at the Oyster Mushroom (Pl. ostreatus). It is growing on a good size log. After several days with no rain, the log starts to dry. When the log is completely dry, so is the mushroom mycelium inside. But what happens when the rain comes, and the log is once again made moist? The mycelium comes back to life. If there is sufficient mass of the mycelium, it will rebuild itself into a mushroom. This is why a mushroom can come up overnight. They do not grow like other plants.

Let?s look at another situation in the wild. Psilocybe cubensis is growing on a composted cow pie. After 3 or 4 days out in the sun with no rain, the pie dries up. The mycelium inside the pie has also dried. Then comes the rain. Just like the Oyster Mushroom, it once again comes to life when the pie is again moist.

By using these two examples, you can see how this drying technique works. If you were to collect some of this wood which had the mycelium on it, and kept it dry, you could control and maintain the mushroom culture. The same is true if you collect and save the cow pie. As long as the mycelium and its natural substrate are kept dry, it is suspended, or preserved.

Once completely dried, the project should be locked away from the outside environment. Canning jars and plastic bags can be used to accomplish this. No refrigeration is needed. They can be simply held at room temperature. Refrigeration of course will even extend the storage viability??

Other techniques explained in this section of ?THE MUSHROOM RESEACHER?: The Simple Drying Technique On Agar, Drying The Mushroom Spores, The Liquid Paraffin Technique (Mineral Oil and Glycerin also), The Silica Gel Technique, How To Prepare Special Suspending Liquid, The Sand Or Soil Technique, The Freeze Drying Technique (Lyophilization), Freezing Cultures On Agar Technique, Liquid Nitrogen technique, The Sclerotia Technique, Live Growing Culture Technique, Refrigerating Agar Culture Technique.
Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

Rev Jim (Rev_jim_m_jones)
Senior Member
Username: Rev_jim_m_jones

Post Number: 326
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:59 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You know, I've a ton of those test tubes that have threaded caps on them, like the ones you see being used to store myc in "The Mushroom Cultivator". He shows how you can use them tilted to the side with agar and myc, says it lasts for years provided they're occasionally re-agared and then replaced back into the tube. I picked them up at a biotech fire-sale a few months back.

I wonder if anyone would like to try using them? I think I have over 100 of them complete with caps.

I suppose if anyone is interested in trading something small for them they should pm me.
Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

petri dish (Petri)
Senior Member
Username: Petri

Post Number: 128
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 04:18 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you and curse you in the same breathe. That is well written, clear,and easy to comprehend. I am now going to have to own that book and read it till it's threadbare like my TMC. Thanks for sharing here too.
Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

? (Superunborn)
Senior Member
Username: Superunborn

Post Number: 106
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:31 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the great info. Now, if any of us wanted to trade in cultures (edible and legal only, of course), we could, say, slip a tiny sliver of dry material into an envelope with a letter to our mycological counterparts....

Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

Roo (Tehuti)
Senior Member
Username: Tehuti

Post Number: 253
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 01:11 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dont get caught mailing Psilocybe cultures...

Unless you send one with a bunch of edible cultures, and give the "special" one a secret control number. LOL! You never heard it from me..

Great info in that post!!!

(Message edited by tehuti on May 30, 2004)
Top of pageBottom of pageLink to this message

Hippie3 (Admin)
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 20381
Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 01:23 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thx for sharing that, stephen.