Breeding & Genetics

A Guide to the Sea Urchin Reproductive Cycle and Staging Sea Urchin Gonad Samples


This publication is intended to be used as a guide for anybody with a need to understand, or an interest, in the reproductive cycle of sea urchins. It includes the following: a description of the reproductive cycle of sea urchins; the factors that cause variations in the size and quality of the gonad; methods for sampling sea urchin gonads; and a guide to reading the histology slides of sea urchin gonads in order to be able to classify them into the different stages of the reproductive cycle. In order to further assist with this process.

Appendix One shows examples of histology slides taken from the two populations described in Figure 2. These clearly show the general pattern associated with the reproductive cycle of sea urchins but also the enormous variation that can occur between populations. The authors hope that this guide will enable those working with sea urchins to follow the reproductive cycle of selected populations and that it will contribute significantly to the knowledge of the reproductive cycle of  sea urchins that occur in various populations around the coast of Norway.


Philip James, Sten Siikavuopio 

Nofima AS 

ISBN 978-82-7251-976-5

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