Allozyme variability and differentiation in Serbian roe deer populations Capreolus capreolus
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The present study investigates the genetic structure of 12 roe deer Capreolus capreolus Linnaeus, 1758 population samples from Serbia, by screening a total of 334 individuals. We examined whether genetic differentiation exists in local populations in Serbia, and addressed the question whether management policies may affect genetic structure. The populations were analysed by multilocus protein electrophoresis, with 33 protein loci examined. Screening of 20 enzymes and one group of general proteins revealed polymorphism at the following 12 loci: Sdh, Mdh-1, Me-1, Idh-2, 6-Pgd-1, alpha Gpd, Ak, Pgm-1, Pgin-2, Ca, Mpi and Gpi. Among samples, the proportion of polymorphic loci varied between 3-15.2% (mean 11.9%), while the average gene diversity was in the range of 1.1-4.2%. The overall genetic differentiation was low (theta = 0.03). The comparison of two regional population groups (northern-southern, separated by the Danube River) showed an absence of genetic differentiation between regions. Gene flow was estimated at 8.96 migrants per generation, and was higher in the lowland than in the highland group. Three loci (Ca, 6-Pgd and Gpd-1) showed clinal variation along a geographical gradient. Additional five alleles of four loci (Ak, Pgin-1, Gpi, 6-Pgd) showed significant spatial autocorrelation. Genetic distances were small (D = 0-0.004). Northern and southern populations clustered separately. For at least three populations game management practices provide evidence for outlying genetic parameters. The observed heterogeneity in the inbreeding level was deemed more under the influence of non-random mating strengthened by game management, than by overall selective pressure.