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J Hered. 2004 Jan-Feb;95(1):11-8.

Microsatellite analysis of genetic diversity of the Vietnamese sika deer (Cervus nippon pseudaxis).

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CIRAD-EMVT, Rangeland and Wildlife Management Program, TA 30/F, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34398 Montpellier cedex 5, France.


The Vietnamese sika deer (Cervus nippon pseudaxis) is an endangered subspecies of economic and traditional value in Vietnam. Most living individuals are held in traditional farms in central Vietnam, others being found in zoos around the world. Here we study the neutral genetic diversity and population structure of this subspecies using nine microsatellite loci in order to evaluate the consequences of the limited number of individuals from which this population was initiated and of the breeding practices (i.e., possible inbreeding). Two hundred individuals were sampled from several villages. Our data show both evidence for limited local inbreeding and isolation by distance with a mean F(ST) value of 0.02 between villages. This suggests that exchange of animals occurs at a local scale, at a rate such that highly inbred mating is avoided. However, the genetic diversity, with an expected heterozygosity (H(e)) of 0.60 and mean number of alleles (k) of 5.7, was not significantly larger than that estimated from zoo populations of much smaller census size (17 animals sampled; H(e) = 0.65, k = 4.11). Our results also suggest that the Vietnamese population might have experienced a slight bottleneck. However, this population is sufficiently variable to constitute a source of individuals for reintroduction in the wild in Vietnam.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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