Spore print

From Academic Kids

Making a spore print of the mushroom Volvariella volvacea shown in composite: (photo lower half) mushroom cap laid on white and dark paper; (photo upper half) cap removed after 24 hours showing pinkish-tan spore print. A 3.5 cm glass slide placed in middle allows for examination of spore chacteristics under a microscope.
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Making a spore print of the mushroom Volvariella volvacea shown in composite: (photo lower half) mushroom cap laid on white and dark paper; (photo upper half) cap removed after 24 hours showing pinkish-tan spore print. A 3.5 cm glass slide placed in middle allows for examination of spore chacteristics under a microscope.

The spore print of a mushroom is an important diagnostic character in most handbooks for identifying mushrooms. A spore print is made by placing the spore-producing surface flat on a sheet of dark and white (or just white) paper. The mushroom is left overnight in this manner. When the mushroom is removed, the color of the spores should be visible on the paper. Incorporating a glass slide allows for examination of spores under a microscope, or moving the spore print to a darker or lighter surface for good contrast.

Mycologists are reluctant to identify any mushroom from its spore print alone, although the spore print is one characteristic used in determination.

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