#Biodiversity150 number 35 of 150 Purple Sea Urchin

35/150: A Purple Sea Urchin for Purple Day!

animalia: Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Echinoida: Strongylocentrotidae: Strongylocentrotus: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Stimpson, 1857)

Today is Purple Day, a day of support for people with epilepsy. We thought we’d share a very purple creature, the Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). The purple sea urchin is a free-living, radial invertebrate that looks like a balled-up, purple, hedgehog. Its genome was completely sequenced in 2006, providing some new revelations into genes we thought were vertebrate specific (the purple sea urchin and humans share 7,700 genes). It also has a complex immune and regenerative system and genome regions that may prove useful in Alzheimer’s and cancer research. In epilepsy research, urchin sperm cell tails are being used to understand cilia structures and how it relates to epilepsy.  Urchins have self-honing teeth (which can bite through stone) which are being studied for the concept of everlasting knives! In its own ecosystem, it is also invaluable as a prominent food source for otters, abalones and gulls, while itself consuming kelp. Their eggs are also a salty, yellow, delicacy! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

The oral side of the purple sea urchin, Specimen BAM00063 – Scott’s Bay, Bamfield, British Columbia – 03-Jun-2008. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Live Purple Sea Urchin photographed by Kirt L. Onthank goo.gl/2p60Qx

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  DSPEC512-08

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Purple Sea Urchin

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAD8117

Title Image: Specimen BAM00063 – Scott’s Bay, Bamfield, British Columbia – 03-Jun-2008
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics


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