Seasonal variation in the total lipids was less evident than for the other biochemical components.Fatty acids profiles were also identified during this study. selleck chemical The polyunsaturated fatty acids constitute the highest proportion of the total fatty acids identified in the gonads (Figure 1). This finding is consistent with published data [10, 37, 39]. Numerous researchers have reported that ovaries contain large amounts of EPA and DHA [40, 41]. In this study, EPA was observed to be the major polyunsaturated fatty acids in sea urchin gonad. In contrast, the level of DHA, which was thought to be one of the major fatty acids in marine organisms, was only between 0.47 and 2.2% of the total fatty acids. Similarly, Pathirana et al.  found 1�C2.5% DHA and a high level of EPA in the gonads of S.
droebachiensis. Mai et al.  reported that the high proportion of EPA is a reflection of the presence of a macroalgal material in the diet of sea urchin, since this fatty acid is found in macroalgal species such as Laminaria digitata and Alaria esculenta. In this study, the C20:2, the C20:3 and the C20:4 were present in important percentages. These fatty acids were found to be the major contributors in sea urchin tissues, even when they were not detected in the diet . It appears that these fatty acids are synthesized by sea urchins from lower fatty acid precursors [43, 44]. These fatty acids are also known to have structural functions .The major saturated fatty acids were C16:0, C14:0, and C18:0 with dominance of C16:0 (>60% of the SFA).
This is in accordance with the available published data on fatty acid composition of wild sea urchins [8, 37, 45].Furthermore, the present study showed that fatty acids C18:1 n ? 9 and C18:1 n ? 7 were the dominant MUFA. In other studies, C20:1 was, however, the dominant fatty acids in sea urchin gonad [8, 37]. The presence of the fatty acid C20:1 has not been commonly reported as being typical of marine lipids. Ackman and Hooper  stated that in marine animals, such as periwinkle (Littorina littorea), moon snail (Lunata triseriata), and sand shrimp (Crangon septem-spinosus), the C20:1 did not exceed 0.2% of the total fatty acid content. The formation of the C20:1 in the sea urchin gonadal lipids may be biosynthetic in origin since it was not reported in seaweeds, which is the natural diet of sea urchins .5.2.
Monthly Variation of the Sea Urchin Gonad Fatty Acid CompositionIn this study, the influence of the environmental conditions (food type and temperature variation) on FA composition should be discussed with regards Cilengitide to the reproductive cycles which can also contribute to the variation of FA composition in sea urchin gonads.During this study, a seasonal change of PUFA in sea urchin gonads was also recorded.