Growing mushrooms using liquid cultures is a popular method among mycology enthusiasts. Liquid cultures provide an efficient way to propagate mushroom mycelium and are widely used in the production of spawn for commercial and hobbyist purposes.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of using liquid cultures to grow mushrooms on agar or grains and how to make new liquid culture from the original.
What is a Liquid Culture?
A liquid culture is a suspension of mushroom mycelium and nutrients in a liquid medium. The mycelium grows in the liquid medium, creating a highly concentrated mycelial solution that can be used to inoculate new substrates.
Liquid cultures are commonly used in mycology because they allow for the easy transfer of mycelium to new substrates, enabling fast and efficient propagation of the fungus.
Growing Mushrooms on Agar Using Liquid Cultures:
Growing mushrooms on agar using liquid cultures is a straightforward process that involves the following steps:
1) Prepare the agar: Prepare agar plates by dissolving agar in water and sterilizing the mixture. Pour the mixture into petri dishes and allow it to cool and solidify.
2) Inoculate the agar: Inoculate the agar plates with a small amount of liquid culture using a sterile syringe or pipette. Spread the inoculated liquid culture onto the surface of the agar plate.
3) Incubate the agar plates: Incubate the agar plates in a warm and dark location until the mycelium has grown out and colonized the agar plate.
4) Transfer the mycelium: Transfer the mycelium from the agar plate to a new substrate, such as grains or sawdust, to continue growing the mushrooms.
Making New Liquid Culture from the Original:
Making new liquid culture from the original is a simple process that involves the following steps:
1) Prepare the liquid culture: Prepare a new batch of liquid culture medium, such as potato dextrose broth (PDB), and sterilize the mixture.
2) Inoculate the liquid culture: Inoculate the sterilized liquid culture medium with a small amount of the original liquid culture using a sterile syringe or pipette.
3) Incubate the liquid culture: Incubate the inoculated liquid culture at the appropriate temperature until the mycelium has grown out and colonized the liquid medium.
4) Store the liquid culture: Store the new liquid culture in a sterile container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Conclusion: Using liquid cultures to grow mushrooms is an efficient and reliable method for propagating mushroom mycelium. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can easily grow mushrooms on agar or grains and create new liquid cultures from the original. With a little patience and practice, you can become an expert in using liquid cultures to grow mushrooms.
- Stamets, P. (2000). Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Ten Speed Press.
- Kuo, M. (2018). Mushroom Cultivation: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- Chang, S. T., & Miles, P. G. (2004). Mushrooms: cultivation, nutritional value, medicinal effect, and environmental impact. CRC press.
LIQUID CULTURE RECIPE
- 500ml distilled or deionized water
- 25g honey
- 500ml mason jar with lid and band
- Pressure cooker or autoclave
- Sterile syringe
- Add 500ml of distilled or deionized water to a 500ml mason jar.
- Add 25g of honey to the water and mix well.
- Place the lid and band on the jar.
- Sterilize the jar and its contents using a pressure cooker or autoclave.
- Allow the jar to cool to room temperature in a sterile environment.
- Using a sterile syringe, draw up a small amount of mushroom mycelium from a previously sterilized culture.
- Inject the mycelium into the cooled liquid culture through the lid of the jar.
- Incubate the inoculated liquid culture at the appropriate temperature for your mushroom species until the mycelium has grown out and colonized the liquid medium.
- Use the liquid culture to inoculate new substrates or store it in a sterile container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Note: Always work in a sterile environment and follow proper sterilization procedures to prevent contamination. This recipe uses only 2 ingredients – water and honey – and a sterile syringe for inoculation. A mason jar is a convenient vessel for small-scale liquid cultures, but larger cultures may require larger containers. A sterile syringe is the recommended tool for inoculation as it minimizes the risk of contamination.