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A starch-gel electrophoretic study of some of the sources of variation in the blood sera of deer of the genus Odocoileus Van Tets, Patricia Anne


After standardizing a starch-gel electrophoretic technique, variations in the serum proteins of the genus Odocoileus due to the condition of the sample and the condition of the animal were studied. Significant changes in the serum sample were brought about by hemolysis, cloudiness, and decomposition. Cold storage for two years of adult deer serum, the addition of a bacteriostat to the sample, and the use of a muscle relaxant to procure samples from captive deer produced no significant changes in either the mobility or the percent composition of the protein fractions. A large individual variation was found in both the mobility and the percent composition of the protein fractions. The percent composition of the protein fractions was affected by sex, age, and season. The mobility of the protein fractions was affected by sex, but not by age or season. Captive deer at the University of British Columbia exhibited an additional negatively migrating protein fraction when compared to their wild counterparts. Comparisons of the mobilities in three groups of adult females of the genus Odocoileus indicate greater intra-subspecific differences than inter-specific differences. The technique of starch-gel electrophoresis, therefore, may be useful in individual and herd recognition but it is not useful in the recognition of subspecies or species of deer of the genus Odocoileus.

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