Paracentrotus lividus gonads represent a valued gourmet delicacy, particularly appreciated in Europe and in Japan. Their commercial value is generally associated to their size, freshness, colour and texture. Diet, gametogenesis and environmental conditions have a marked influence, promoting the indispensable mechanisms of synthesis, selective storage and mobilization of the bioactive compounds, as lipids, proteins and carbohydrates of gonads in order to obtain nutrients. The objective of this work is to compare the morphological and biochemical profiles of reproductive life cycle of the gonads of adult P. lividus in its marine natural environment and adult captured sea urchins breeding into a fish aquaculture system. The reproductive cycle of male and female wild and breeding P. lividus was characterized during 1 year by analysing variations of the gonadal content of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates of animals captured at four different locations of the south-western coast of Salento, Italy, with the animals grown in a fish farm and fed with four different types of diet. The gonadal and repletion indexes were determined before the specimen dissection for evaluation of sex, development stages and physiological aspects. Gonads were processed for histological and biochemical analysis. The gonadal content of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates was performed by the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and by spectrometry, respectively.
Part of the book: Sea Urchin