This page will catalog spore collection techniques. Spore collection refers to the act of collecting the reproductive output (spores) of a mushroom in order catalog the genetic material for future grows, microscopic observation or mushroom identification.
The most common way to collect spores is by producing a spore print. A spore print is usually collected by harvesting the cap of a mature mushroom and then placing it onto a piece of paper, plastic or aluminum foil in order to catch the spores as they are released.
Some species of mushroom drop spores irregularly or have such a small set of gills that obtaining a spore swab. A spore swab is a clean cotton swab which has been been hydrated and wiped across spore production site of the fruit body in order to manually collect spores. This is the most common way of collecting spore from the psilocybe cubensis strain due to the limited size of fruit caps from that strain.
Wild spore collection
Collection of spores from the wild is problematic due to the high level of contaminates found in the natural setting. The best way collect spores from a wild specimen is to collect them before the veil breaks, thus allowing limited isolation. The spores are collected by injecting small amounts of sterile water into the cap, then drawing it back out several times in several places on the cap. After collection, the best way to isolate the spores is to use a centrifuge to separate the medium before going to agar. This will reduce the amount of isolation needed before having a clean culture.
However, centrifuges and the skills needed to use them are rare, so many simply use multiple agar isolations.