Many people who are interested in mushroom spores and use them in their lab end up in the situation of having too many spores and being unsure of what to do with them. Should you throw away a syringe where there are still viable spores? – No, you should not! Instead, you may keep your mushroom spores and use them later. You will not only make financial savings, but you can also start creating your own strain library.
However, storing the spores does not mean that you can simply put a syringe in a drawer or cabinet and forget it there. If you want to be sure that it will be still viable in the months to come, you must store it in adequate conditions, to properly preserve the spores.
The spore syringe quality and temperature are a couple of the aspects that affect how long the spores will last. The average shelf life of spores in a laboratory-grade syringe stored at room temperature is up to 30 days.
Storing leftover spores in a cool, dark environment can dramatically increase this number. Syringes containing mushroom spores can be kept for four to twelve months in the refrigerator. By limiting exposure to sunlight and other sources of light and by maintaining a steady temperature, this time can be extended.
Nevertheless, it is not a good idea to freeze a spore syringe since ice crystals will form and cause the spores’ structure to be disturbed. Although some fungal strains may survive using this technique, it is not recommended.