How to preserve fungi

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How to preserve fungi

Post by adampembs » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:26 pm

For short term preservation, eg keeping for microscopy, keeping them in a sealed container in the fridge can keep fungi for a few days, depending on type of fungi and state of freshness when collected.

For long term preservation, samples need to be thoroughly dried. Take a spore print first . onto a glass slide (or similar) and then dry.
An air drier is the best option, with the temperature at rooms temperature or at least below 40C.
An alternative is on top of a radiator, with some paper between to prevent the sample getting too hot and getting spores over the radiator.
There is a risk of allergies with drying samples at home, so avoid this if you suffer from allergies or feel unwell after trying it.
The time taken to dry varies, but with my radiator, I leave it for 2-3 days to dry properly.

For large fruit bodies, slicing into pieces is recommended to speed up the process.

After drying, pop the sample into an airtight plastic container (a large urine sample bottle from the doctor's surgery is ideal!)
Then pop the bottle in the deep freeze for a couple of days to kill some invertebrates, such as weevils, that can feed on dry material.

Here are some relevant links - Kew recommendations - how to restore dried fungi for microscopy
Adam Pollard
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Re: How to preserve fungi

Post by Lancashire Lad » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:38 pm

As for most things mycological, some good general information can easily be found by doing a quick websearch.
All three of these documents were found within seconds by simply typing in the question "how do I preserve fungi samples".

They all include information on preserving fungi using both commercial dryers, and "make-do" methods, along with a wealth of other useful info. ... LOCKED.pdf ... 3.2web.pdf ... NG-SCR.PDF

Common sense is not so common.

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Re: How to preserve fungi

Post by Steve » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:27 pm

Adam is quite right about the risk of allergy from fungi spores - giving you "Farmer's Lung" type breathing problems. I have been using a fruit dryer to dry samples for 3 years and I am now getting very wheezy after working in the attic where I have all my fungi gear. I have now put my dryer outside in the greenhouse, with all windows and door open, and I keep out whilst the dryer is on. I was sent for a chest X ray and am having more tests done.
One thing I am avoiding is smelling fungi too closely - if I do then I small the top of the cap and not the gills. I noted how many people smell the gills recently. Big ascos are bad as you can see a cloud of spores being shot out sometimes. At an asco microscopy day in Sheffield I attended a couple of years ago the air must have been thick with spores. Puffball spores have also reported as causing nasal problems (people snorting hallucinogenic species). I was told by one member of the Entoloma Workshop at the weekend that a colleague had to stop working with fungi because of allergy.
Take care,

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