Père David`s deer (PD) have a 49 day longer gestation than red deer (283.4 ± 6.1 (SD) and 234.4 ± 3.4 days). In F1 hybrids (PD sire), male progeny had a longer gestation than females (268.8 ± 6.4, n=10 and 262.0 ± 4.5, n=10, P<0.01), both greater than the mid-parent mean of 259 days. The male and female progeny of F1 sires and red dams had a gestation length of 249 ± 5.5 (n=275). Segregation analysis suggests two normal distributions with a difference in means of 7 days. In the reverse hybrid (F1 dams), the gestation length of 242.5 ± 3.3 days (n=19) was significantly shorter than the backcross hybrid progeny of F1 stags. The control of gestation length in PD hybrids is clearly very complex although we have found evidence of two linked markers which individually account for 2.4 and 2.7 days of the difference in gestation length.

GJ, Goosen, PF Fennessy, AJ Pearse, and KM McEwan

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 57, , 225-227, 1997
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