Prenatal Selection In White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (N = 1341) were collected from 7 locations in Georgia and South Carolina. Sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) activity was analyzed using starch-gel electrophoresis. Four types of prenatal selection, Female Gametic Selection, Random Mating, Male Reproductive Selection and Female Sexual Selection, were analyzed for this locus using genotype frequency data including mothers and offspring. Spatial and temporal heterog;eneity were analyzed for the Savannah River Plant (SRP) herd. Pooled genotype frequencies for SDH were essentially the same over 3 years but varied between hunt compartments on the SRP and between the sampling areas across the southeast. All populations were mating at random in respect to the individual genotypes. However, evidence was found for the importance of social structure and intrauterine events in determining the genetic structure of the herds.

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