Fatty acid compositions of gonadal material and diets of the sea urchin, Psammechinus miliaris: trophic and nutritional implications

Elizabeth Cook, Kenny Black, Maeve Kelly, Michael V Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fatty acid compositions of gonadal material was examined for the sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris (Gmelin) held in aquaria and fed either salmon feed pellets or the macroalga. Laminaria saccharina for 18 months. Gonadal material was also examined from P. miliaris collected from four field sites, including commercial scallop lines encrusted with the mussel, Mytilus edulis, sea cages stocked with Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and two intertidal sea-loch sites, characterised by either a fine mud or a macroalgal substratum. The fatty acid compositions of known and potential dietary material was examined. The proportions of certain fatty acids in the gonads of P. miliaris were significantly affected by diet type and location. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 22:6 n - 3 was significantly higher in the gonads of the sea urchins fed salmon feed in aquaria and collected from the salmon cages and scallop lines than in the gonads of the sea urchins fed L. saccharina in aquaria and collected from the intertidal sea loch sites. The salmon feed and the mussel tissue also contained a high proportion of this fatty acid. Stearidonic acid 18:4 n - 3 and arachidonic acid 20:4 n - 6, however, were found in significantly higher proportions than DHA in the gonads of the sea urchins fed L. saccharina and collected from the two intertidal sea-loch sites. L. saccharina was also found to contain high proportions of stearidonic and arachidonic acid. The gonads of the sea urchins collected from the intertidal site, characterised by a mud substratum, and from the scallop lines were found to contain a lower 18:1 n - 9/18: 1 n - 7 ratio and a higher proportion of branched and odd-chained fatty acids, signifying a high dietary bacterial input, than the sea urchins held in the aquaria and collected from the salmon cage. 20:2 and 22:2 non-methylene interrupted dienoic fatty acids (NMIDs) were found in P. miliaris fed diets lacking there fatty acids suggesting de novo biosynthesis. These results, therefore, suggest that the proportions/ratios of certain fatty acids in the gonads of P. miliaris could he used to give an indication of the predominant diet type of this species in the wild. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalJ EXP MAR BIOL ECOL
Volume255
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • PHYTOPLANKTON
  • Ecology
  • LIPIDS
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • MARKERS
  • GROWTH

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