Lipid Class and Fatty Acid Compositions of Dried Sea Cucumber Apostichopus japonicus

Md Anisuzzaman1, Feng Jin1, Kamrunnahar Kabery1, U-Cheol Jeong1, Hyun-Chol Jung2, Sang-Ro Lee2, Seok-Joong Kang1, *
1 Department of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, Gyeongsang National University, Tongyeong 53064, South Korea
2 A1 Engineering Co., Ltd, Suncheon, 540856, South Korea

© 2019 Anisuzzaman et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Seok-Joong Kang, Department of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, Gyeongsang National University, Tongyeong 53064, South Korea; Tel: +82. 55. 772. 9154; Fax: +82. 55. 648. 3089; E-mail:



Sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, is becoming popular around the world due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. There are still no detailed chemical studies of the lipid class, glycolipids compositions of sea cucumber.


This study was conducted to determine the lipid class and glycolipid compositions of dried sea cucumber, A. japonicus, and analyze fatty acid compositions of Monogalactosyl Diglycerides (MGDG), Steryl Glycosides (SG) and Sulfoquinovosyl Diglycerides (SQDG). Total lipids of sea cucumber were extracted by Bligh and Dyer method and Sep-Pak Silica plus long cartridge, and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) silica gel G-60 F254 was used for the separation of different lipid classes and glycolipid compositions. The composition of fatty acids was analyzed by GC.

Results & Conclusion:

The level of total lipids in the dried sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus, was 4 ± 1% of dry weight (w/w) and the amount of neutral lipids, glycolipids and phospholipids was 31 ± 1%, 29 ± 1% and 40 ± 1% of the total lipids (w/w), respectively. MGDG, SG and SQDG were the major glycolipids, and the contents were 37.5 ± 0.3%, 33.8 ± 0.5% and 23.6 ± 0.7% of the total glycolipids (w/w), respectively and significantly higher than other glycolipids (p < 0.05). SQDG contained much higher Arachidonic Acid (AA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and MGDG contained higher Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) compared with SG (p < 0.05). Further investigation is required to understand the positional distribution of fatty acids and molecular species in MGDG, SG and SQDG in detail.

Keywords: Sea cucumber, Lipid class, Total lipids, Glycolipids, Fatty acids, Echinoderms, Aquaculture.