7 Simple Agar Recipes – Using Agar Plates for Mushroom Work

Interested in making your own agar plates for mycology work? Below are some simple agar recipes you can make at home.

Agar plates can help you to clean up spore prints, make mushroom clones, isolate mushroom genetics, and much more. Not only is it super fun, but using agar plates for mushroom work lets you learn the basics of mycelial formation and the mushroom lifecycle.

If you are ready to level up your mushroom game, agar work is the ticket.

agar recipe for mushroom work

In this article, we present various agar recipes for fungal growth, along with directions on how to make each recipe. Follow these steps to prepare each type of agar medium. Below are 7 agar recipes used for taking mushroom cultures, genetic isolations, cloning, and spore germination.

The recipes listed below will make approximately 20 100mm Petri dishes. Adjust accordingly if you need more or less. Instructions on how to make agar media can be found at the bottom of the article.

Agar Recipies for Fungal Growth

Malt Extract Agar Recipe (MEA)

Potato Dextrose Agar Recipe (PDA)

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Malt Extract Agar Recipe with Yeast and Peptone (MAYP)

Potato Dextrose Agar Recipe with Yeast and Peptone (PDAYP)

Malt Extract Agar Recipe with Yeast, Peptone, and Activated Carbon  (Black Agar)

Potato Dextrose Agar Recipe with Yeast, Peptone, and Activated Carbon  

Antibiotic Agar Recipe (AB)

Antibiotic Agar is an agar medium (usually MEA or PDA) that has been infused with an antibiotic for the purposes of combating bacterial contamination. There are many different antibiotics you may use, most of which require a prescription. However, some of these ingredients can be purchased over the counter for the purpose of treating pets, i.e. fish antibiotics  

Important note: Antibiotics are heat sensitive so it is important to add the antibiotic of your choice after sterilization as the agar is cooling. Allow the agar to cool to around 55°C before adding in the antibiotic.


  • 500 ml Distilled H20
  • 10g Agar powder
  • 10g Malt Extract Powder
  • Antibiotic of choice (choose one from the list below, add after sterilization, and swirl around)
    • Levaquin 50 mg
    • Doxycycline 50 mg
    • Amoxicillin 50 mg
    • Ciprofloxacin 50 mg
    • Cephalexin 50 mg
    • Azithromycin 50 mg

General instructions for all recipes:

  • Measure the required amount of distilled water and pour it into a suitable container, such as an Erlenmeyer flask or a large glass beaker.
  • Weigh the appropriate amount of each ingredient using a digital scale and add them to the container with distilled water.
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure that all the ingredients are dissolved and evenly dispersed. This may take a few minutes.
  • Once the ingredients are dissolved, cover the container with aluminum foil or a loose-fitting lid.
  • Sterilize the mixture by autoclaving at 121°C (250°F) and 15 psi for 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow the agar to cool to around 45-50°C (113-122°F) before pouring into sterile petri dishes or other containers.
  • Let the agar solidify at room temperature before use or storage.

Specific instructions for recipes that use antibiotics:

Antibiotic Agar (AB) – Follow general instructions and allow the agar to cool to around 55°C (131°F). Then, add the antibiotic of your choice (dissolved in a small volume of sterile water, if necessary) and swirl around to mix evenly.

Do you have an Agar recipe that works great for you? If so, share with the community by posting your agar recipe in the comments below!

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