Inherited protein variation in the blood of domestic species can provide the means to resolve cases of uncertain parentage. In red deer, protein variation has been described from natural populations in Europe, although the inheritance of this variation has not been verified using family data. This paper examines protein variation in the blood of New Zealand farmed red deer and tests the inheritance of each protein variant using family data from 46 matings. The 2 most variable proteins reported in European deer, transferrin and isocitrate dehydrogenase, were also variable in New Zealand farmed deer. The inheritance of variation in each of these proteins was consistent with co-dominant Mendelian inheritance at a single locus. In addition variation was found in plasma proteins in the postalbumins and the gamma-globulins. Variation in the postalbumins was consistent with co- dominant Mendelian inheritance at a single locus while variation in the gamma-globulins did not appear to be inherited. The inherited protein variants identified in red deer provide a blood test which detected 70% of the possible mismatches between parents and calves in the sample of 46 matings.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 48, , 143-146, 1988
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