There are two main reasons for making a spore print; to identify the species of a particular fungus; or, to capture the spores for purpose of propagation in order to create a new strain of a selected species.
Identifying fungi from morphology alone can be very difficult. By determining the characteristics of the spores you are better able to categorise a specimen. This can be as simple as observing the colour of the spores from a spore print or you could view the spores under microscope to determine their size and shape.
If you are taking spores to culture a new strain a few more precautions are necessary to limit the risk of contamination. Here is the simplest way to take a spore print of an agaric mushroom (cap and stem type of fruitbody). Variation apply depending on mushroom morphology.YT
- zip-lock/sealable bag
- Carefully cut the cap from the stipe/stem.
- Place the cap, gills facing down on a piece of tin foil that is more than twice the size of the cap.
- You may need to cover the cap with glass or bowl, for two reasons to reduce airflow and/or prevent the cap from drying out. However, this is usually not an issue if you a taking the spore print of a fresh specimen in a clean room with little airflow.
- Leave 12 to 24 hours. Remove the cap.
- Carefully fold the print in half and then fold in the edges before placing into a sealable plastic bag