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What is agar and why is it useful for the mushroom cultivator?[edit | edit source]

Agar-Agar is a gel forming ingredient, extracted from seaweed, that is used to make petri dish media.

Agar-Agar enables mycelium to grow on a solid plate surface so that you can cut wedges out using a scalpel, and use them to inoculate grains, liquid cultures, or more agar dishes. The solid 2-dimensional media also makes for good visual indication that your culture is either clean or not clean. Agar being on a 2d surface, rather than 3d(cake or grain jar) or in liquid, allows for easy salvaging of most contamination problems before it's ever a problem. In some cases, if a contaminant appears on a dish, you can re-capture mycelium, then use that clean wedge to create a new 100% clean dish, and entirely save a culture.

Gelatine is not suitable in replacement of agar-agar.

Summary of use:

  • Cleaning up spores into a contaminant free culture
  • Cloning mushroom tissue for selectable traits (size, potency, phenotypes)
  • Multiplication of mycelium
  • Storage of cultures - slants are used for long term.

Agar recipes[edit | edit source]

There are several recipes for preparing agar.

Most commonly used is Light Malt Agar.


Germination[edit | edit source]

Agar used for the purpose of germinating spores may do better on a softer agar medium.

You can use any of the below recipes, with the Agar-Agar reduced to 7g per 500ml H2O.

Lower Nutrients[edit | edit source]

The below recipes can be altered. Nutrients can be reduced slightly (the ingredients that are not the Agar-Agar & H2O).

LMEA[edit | edit source]

(Light Malt Extract Agar)

The standard recipe is:

10g Light Malt Extract

10g Agar-Agar

500ml H2O

LMYA[edit | edit source]

(Light Malt Yeast Agar)

10g Light Malt Extract

10g Agar-Agar

1g Nutritional Yeast

500ml H2O

Potato Agar[edit | edit source]

Info to be added

PYA[edit | edit source]

(Potato Yeast Agar)


Antibiotic Agar[edit | edit source]

Info to be added

BRF Agar[edit | edit source]

Info to be added

Grain Water Agar[edit | edit source]

Info to be added


Preparation[edit | edit source]

Pouring Vessels[edit | edit source]

If you opt to pour your agar, you will need a pouring vessel. See No Pour Method below.

  • Borosilicate media bottles
  • Reused glass bottles covered in foil

Medium Containers[edit | edit source]

  • Sterile, disposable petri dishes
  • Glass petri dishes
  • PP5 petri dishes
  • PP5 containers such as deli containers, or bead containers
  • Baby food jars
  • Tupperware (must be PP5 and PP5 lids)

Recipe Preparation[edit | edit source]

Sterilisation[edit | edit source]

Agar can be sterilised in the following manners:

  • In a pressure cooker for 20 minutes at 15psi
  • In an instapot (time to be added)

Pouring Agar[edit | edit source]

No Pour Method Pour vs No Pour[edit | edit source]