Heritability and phenotypic correlations of gonad sweetness in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius
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Gonad is the only edible part of sea urchins. Thus, a number of studies have been focusing on how to improve both quantity and quality of their gonads. However, as far as our knowledge, the genetic basis of gonad flavor remains totally unknown in sea urchins. In the present study, we found that the heritability of gonad sweetness was at a high level of 0.56, clearly indicating that it is, to a large extent, under genetic control. Gonad sweetness was significantly positively correlated with gonad weight (P < 0.05), a* (P < 0.01) and b* (P < 0.01), while significantly negative correlated with L* (P < 0.01), ΔE 1 (P < 0.01) and ΔE 2 (P < 0.01). The present study provides valuable information into the genetic basis of gonad sweetness and evidences that gonad sweetness is potential to be improved in sea urchin genetic breeding programs.
KeywordsStrongylocentrotus intermedius Gonad sweetness Heritability Phenotypic correlation
This work was supported by the Chinese National 863 Project (2012 AA10A412). We thank Weijie Zhang, Wei Liu, Nanjing Ji, Chengze Li and Zhou He for their assistances.
Conflict of interest
All authors do not have any conflict of interest.
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