Genetic variability in white-tailed deer

David D. Breshears, Michael H. Smith, E. Gus Cothran, Paul E. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Genetic variability at 36 loci was studied in white-tailed deer (Odocoileusyirginianus) populations, on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) in South Carolina. Mean multilocus heterozygosity ([Equation found]), percentage of polymorphic loci (P) and average number of alleles per locus (A) for white-tailed deer were calculated and compared with values for white-tailed deer from several locations (SRP deer: [Equation found] =9·9 per cent, P0.05 = 30.6 per cent, A = 1·89; white-tailed deer overall: H = 10·4 per cent, P0.05 = 32.3 per cent, A = 1·94). Frequency distributions for single locus heterozygosity values (h) and the number of alleles per locus for white-tailed deer were found to be significantly different from those of mammals in general. Analysis of single-locus data based on quaternary structure and functional groups of proteins failed to demonstrate expected differences as predicted from the literature. White-tailed deer have a high level of heterozygosity, but they do not exhibit many of the life history and environmental characteristics associated with high heterozygosity in other animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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