2015 IPFW Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium



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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ahmed Mustafa


Department of Biology

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


The demand for a sustainable source of high quality protein increases, marine invertebrates such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers are becoming increasingly important in aquaculture, in addition to becoming important in developing marine medicines. As with other aquatic species in aquaculture, stress can also have a significant impact these species. Hence, we wanted to study the impact of potentially aquaculture related stressors, such as low salinity and handling, using a variety of physiological and immunological tests on the coelomic fluid of the sea cucumber, Parastichopus californicus, and the sea urchin, Stronglyocentrotus purpurtatus. Based on the results obtained, sea urchins kept in handling and salinity stress conditions showed significantly more stress responses than controls, whereas sea cucumbers did not show any significant differences across the treatment groups. This would indicate that sea cucumbers are a more viable candidate for aquaculture than sea urchins, as they appear to be more resistant to stress. Based on this, the use of sea cucumbers in aquaculture should be more widely encouraged in the United States.


Biology | Life Sciences

A Comparison of Stress Responses in Sea Cucumbers and Sea Urchins Exposed to Salinity and Handling Stress

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