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Journal Article

Genetic Variation and Juvenile Survival in Red Deer

J. M. Pemberton, S. D. Albon, F. E. Guinness, T. H. Clutton-Brock and R. J. Berry
Evolution
Vol. 42, No. 5 (Sep., 1988), pp. 921-934
DOI: 10.2307/2408908
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408908
Page Count: 14

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Topics: Calves, Deer, Alleles, Mortality, Genotypes, Genetic variation, Genetic loci, Juveniles, Birth weight, Logistics
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Genetic Variation and Juvenile Survival in Red Deer
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Abstract

The survival of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) calves to two years of age was examined in relation to electrophoretic variation in a population on the Scottish island of Rhum. Survival was analyzed using logistic analysis in which the "phenotypic" factors birth weight, birth date, subdivision of the study area, cohort, and sex, which affect the probability of a calf's survival, were taken into account. All three polymorphic loci examined, Mpi, Idh-2, and Trf (each with two detected alleles) are significantly associated with juvenile survival. At Mpi, there is selection against one allele, f (or an allele at a linked locus), and there are indications that this effect is stronger in females than males. For Idh-2, overall, the heterozygote class survives better than the two homozygotes, which survive equally well. However, again there is a difference between the sexes; female heterozygotes survive much better than homozygotes, whereas male homozygotes survive better than heterozygotes, and the difference in survival is smaller. Furthermore, there is an interaction involving Mpi, Idh-2, and survival in which Mpif carriers that are also Idh-2 homozygotes survive very badly compared with other Mpi-Idh-2 combinations, which all survive equally well. For Trf, the heterozygote class survives best, and there is also a difference in survival between the two homozygote classes. Genotype frequencies in the adult population are consistent with the results for calf survival, in that the Mpif frequency is lower in succeeding cohorts of surviving adults, whereas no significant gene frequency change is apparent for Idh-2 or Trf.

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