Genetic variability of Roe deer populations (Capreolus capreolus L.) from northeast Yugoslavia
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Tissue samples of 94 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) from five populations in Yugoslavia were examined for genetic variability and differentiation at 33 presumptive structural loci by means of horizontal starch gel electrophoresis. The proportion of polymorphic loci varied between 3.3% and 12.1%. Average heterozygosity per locus varied between 0.2% and 2%. Estimates of standardized variance of gene frequencies (F-ST) varied between 0.015 and 0.204 with a mean of 0.110. Indirect estimates of gene flow among populations based on the degree of population subdivision, F-ST, was 2.70 migrants per generation, whereas the "private alleles method" showed a gene flow level of 12.26 migrants per generation. Significant heterogeneity of gene frequencies existed between the highland populations south of the Danube. The data on polymorphism, heterozygosity, and gene flow rates are within the range of those reported by other researchers for Hungarian and Bulgarian populations. An overall assessment of the factors determining the genetic structure of the analysed populations in this part of the roe deer range reveals no evidence of genetic drift, implying that selection or non-random mating are more important determining factors. Our data, together with that in the literature, suggest the existence of a clinal North-South gradient in basic population genetic parameters.