Identification of protein components from the mature ovary of the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea)



The gonads of sea urchins are a high value seafood product, with considerable research being undertaken worldwide on the development of sea urchin aquaculture. As the best prices are obtained for specific gonad attributes, research has also focused on the development of artificial diets that enhance gonad quality and quantity. Total protein has been used as a measure of gonad quality; yet no studies to date have applied proteomics technology to diet development. Here we use a MudPIT and 2-DE approach to describe the major proteins in mature ovaries of a New Zealand sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus. This tissue, which is a target seafood product, contained 138 proteins that were identified from the recently completed sea urchin genome (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) with high confidence. The majority of these proteins had general functions, with only 12 related to ovarian reproductive function. Eighteen proteins were located on the 2-DE; four of these were directly identified from S. purpuratus protein sequences. In combination this paper shows that the genome resources of S. purpuratus can be used to identify proteins in sea urchins from different families; describes the proteome of E. chloroticus mature ovary; and, provides proteomic tools for analysis of gonads from other edible sea urchins.