Deer are unique among New Zealand's farmed ruminants in the existence of hybridising species and subspecies which exhibit major differences in physiology and production traits. We used protein electrophoresis to examine genetic differences between two farmed deer species with fertile hybrids:red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Pere David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) (in both species 2n=68). Fixed differences between the species were found for 19 proteins. A further 3 proteins were polymorphic in red deer but not in Pere David's deer. Using the present techniques, segregation of 17 of the protein differences between the species could be confirmed in a backcross pedigree to red deer. The large number of genetic markers segregating in backcross hybrids make them an excellent resource for gene linkage mapping among genetic markers and for experiments which examine the relationship between genetic markers and quantitative traits.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 101-102, 1992
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