Plates can be stored for 1 year if you pour thick enough and is the best way to maintain working inoculate.
Agar slants are excellent for storing cultures long term and can be kept for many decades with some annual maintenance.
Steralized distilled water storage is something i am venturing into thanks to needles and tenderfoot but this method requires a nutrient free and oxygen free environment. When done properly you dont even need cold storage and the cultures can be stored at room temp.
I have been experimenting a little with this method but have not yet attempted to store cultures this method. As i continue to acquire master cultures and go to slants that i have made and are ready to go, i will make 2 other copies using the distilled water method.
I will be using vacutainers and 4 ounce mason jars. The vacutainers are specimen collection tubes for general purpose so the are not sprayed with any anticoagulant agents which used for collection of blood. I did make the mistake of buying some polypropylene ones that were sprayed with EKTA i think it is.
Anyway harvest the mycelium from a plate making sure to leave behind any nutrient media, a small amount is ok, but it needs to be minimal.
Place this mycelium into a jar of steralized water with screws so that you can blend it up them draw it into a syringe.
Once the mycelium is drawn into the syringe then puncture the cap of the vacutainer and the vacuum will pull the solution out of the syringe. The minimal amount of dissolved O2 and or nutrients will be depleted quickly and then the mycelium will stop all metabolic activity.
The second method im going to make my 4 ounce jars air tight with 2 SHIPS and steralize the jars with a little bit of distilled water in them along with some broken shards of a Crown Royal bottle.
Once the jars are steralized, a vacuum will be created and then fill a syringe with some blended mycelium water (distilled) puncture the SHIP and the contents will empty.
I placed 2 ships so when i go to extract the mycelium im not jamming a airport sharp in the same hole as my working sharp. That sounded inappropriate lmao.
Jammer is right about spore prints but keep in mind gene recombination may leave you with different phenotypes.
This talks about several methods including use of cryoprotectants similar to what i was doing in my randoms thread but abandoned it at the moment because i added propylene glycol to a sugar lc and again, even this method requires a nutrient free media because the mycelium will suffocate. If there is O2 and no nutrient then the mycelium will starve.
This is fairly new to me so do your own research but i can say with certainty, agar slants are a sure way to store master cultures and plates are great for working inoculate.
Several methods including Distilled Water.https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC3209878/
Distilled Water supported by scientific data.https://www.ncbi.nlm...cles/PMC186689/
I will be documenting my culture storage and will attempt to recover ay 6 month, 1 year, 18 months, and finally 2 years. If i can successfully recover after 2 years of distilled water storage, i will eliminate agar slants. I believe in that last link i posted they revived 97% of the cultures. Some species cant be stored this way as effectively as others.
Hope this helps. I want to go into more detail but my wife is mean mugging me, we are at the furniture store lol
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