Aquaculture International

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1737–1742 | Cite as

Heritability and phenotypic correlations of gonad sweetness in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius

  • Chong Zhao
  • Ping Sun
  • Haisen Zhou
  • Xiaofei Tian
  • Wenping Feng
  • Yaqing ChangEmail author


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.


Strongylocentrotus 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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chong Zhao
    • 1
  • Ping Sun
    • 1
  • Haisen Zhou
    • 1
  • Xiaofei Tian
    • 1
  • Wenping Feng
    • 1
  • Yaqing Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mariculture and Stock Enhancement in North China’s Sea, Ministry of AgricultureDalian Ocean UniversityDalianChina

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