How to store inoculated agar plates

Storing inoculated agar plates correctly is crucial to maintaining healthy, viable mycelium cultures. Here are some general guidelines for storing inoculated agar plates:

  1. Seal the plates: Once the agar has been inoculated, seal the plates with parafilm or another breathable tape to prevent contamination. Be sure to label each plate with the date and the strain or species of mycelium.
  2. Incubate the plates: After inoculating the agar plates with spores or mycelium, incubate them in a warm, dark place to allow the mycelium to grow and colonize the surface of the agar. The ideal temperature and humidity may vary depending on the species you are working with, but in general, most mushrooms prefer a temperature range of 20-27°C (68-81°F) and a relative humidity of 90-95%.
  3. Store the plates: The best storage temperature for agar plates depends on the species you are working with, but in general, most cultures can be stored in a refrigerator at 4°C (39°F) for several months to a year. However, some species may be sensitive to cold temperatures and may need to be stored at room temperature instead. It is a good idea to keep backup plates at both temperatures to ensure a higher chance of survival.
  4. Monitor the plates: Check the plates regularly for signs of contamination, such as mold or bacterial growth. If contamination is detected, it is best to discard the plate immediately to prevent it from spreading to other cultures.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your inoculated agar plates remain healthy and viable, and can be used to start new mushroom cultures in the future.

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