Event Abstract

Effect of three diets in the gonadal growth and maturation of Paracentrotus lividus

  • 1 MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, ESTM, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, 2520-641 Peniche, Portugal, Portugal
  • 2 CFE – Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Science, University of Coimbra, Apartado 3046, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal, Portugal
  • 3 Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food Research Unit (LEAF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal
  • 4 MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal, Portugal

The sea urchin gonads have been considered one of the most cherished delicacies, not only by the Asians, but also in some European countries. In Europe, Paracentrotus lividus is much appreciated due to its reddish-orange gonads, quality and high nutritional content. P. lividus fishery is common in some Portuguese regions. The sea urchin populations have been dramatically exploited in the intertidal and shallow subtidal rocky reefs, reaching a complete disappearance from areas where they were formerly abundant. There is a general concern to produce P. lividus in aquaculture, in order to avoid the depletion of its natural stocks. Accordingly, the development of new techniques to increase the gonadal quality of reared edible sea urchins is a keystone issue to be addressed in aquaculture research. In this study, adults of P. lividus (n=90), with test diameter ranging from 37 to 41 mm, were collected in the intertidal rocky pools, from the coast of Peniche (western central coast of Portugal), in November of 2015. The sea urchins were starved for a month, in order to promote the re-absorption of the gonads. After this period, the sea urchins were subject to 3 different diets to evaluate their specific breeding conditions. Three artificial diets (A - green macoalgae Codium sp., B – solid mix diet, with macroalgae Codium sp., carrot and cabbage and C - maize and spinach) were used during 80 days, to ensure a rapid gonadal growth and promote the maturation of P. lividus’ gametes. Three recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) were maintained at 20 ± 1°C. All systems consisted in three aquaria of 60 L, one for each diet. Every single aquaria contained 30 sea urchins. Diets were administered ad libitum throughout the experiment. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the different diets, biological data were analyzed: gonads weight (GW), gonadal index (GI) and histological examination of gonadal tissue with measurements of the oocytes diameter. The gonads were larger in sea urchins reared with the diet C (3.04 ± 0.74 g), regarding the gonadal weight referred to diet A (1.55 ± 0.21g) or diet B (1.81 ± 0.20 g). The GI was higher in sea urchins fed with diet C (11.22 ± 2.28), in relation to those fed with diet A (5.63 ± 1.03) and with diet B (5.71 ± 0.24). The histological analysis showed that the maize and spinach (diet C), combined with a temperature of 20 ± 1°C, led to a gonad maturation in P. lividus within 80 days. P. lividus specimens were found in different active gametogenesis phases (stages II–V) within all the diets. Nevertheless, the oocyte diameter was similar in sea urchins fed with the three diets. In this study, all the diets resulted to be effective in stimulating P. lividus gametogenesis, but the diet C was the most adequate to guarantee the best results in terms of GW, GI values and gonad size.


This study had the support of Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), through the strategic project UID/MAR/04292/2013 granted to MARE.

Keywords: sea urchin nutrition, gonadal index, Roe enhancement, Echinoculture, Recirculation aquaculture system

Conference: IMMR | International Meeting on Marine Research 2016, Peniche, Portugal, 14 Jul - 15 Jul, 2016.

Presentation Type: Poster presentation

Topic: Aquaculture

Citation: Raposo A, Ferreira SM, Ramos R, Anjos CM, Baptista TM, Tecelão C, Gonçalves SC and Pombo A (2016). Effect of three diets in the gonadal growth and maturation of Paracentrotus lividus. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: IMMR | International Meeting on Marine Research 2016. doi: 10.3389/conf.FMARS.2016.04.00030

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Received: 28 Apr 2016; Published Online: 13 Jul 2016.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ana Pombo, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, ESTM, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, 2520-641 Peniche, Portugal, Peniche, Portugal, ana.pombo@ipleiria.pt