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An Attempt at Hybridization of Farmed Axis (Axis Axis) and Fallow Deer (Dama Dama) by Intrauterine Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination

Author(s): S.T. Willard | D.A. Neuendorff | A.W. Lewis | R.D. Randel

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 4;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 726;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Axis deer | fallow deer | hybridization | artificial insemination

A study was conducted to determine whether axis (Axis axis) and fallow deer (Dama dama) could be hybridized using artificial insemination (AI). The feasibility of hybridization between these two deer species has implications for free-ranging (mixed) populations of deer species and intensive deer farming production systems. An intravaginal progesterone-releasing device (CIDR) was inserted into axis (n=16) and fallow (n=38) does for 14 d to synchronize estrus. Following CIDR removal, axis does were artificially inseminated laparoscopically with fallow buck semen and fallow does with axis buck semen. Blood samples were collected on d 21, 28, 35 and 42 post-AI for determination of serum concentrations of progesterone (P ) and serum 4 pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) measured on d 28 and 35 post-AI. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed on d 42 post-AI for pregnancy detection. On d 14 (axis does) or 17 (fallow does) post-AI, axis bucks and fallow bucks, respectively, were placed with same-species does for 60 d and subsequent pregnancy and fawning data recorded. Ultrasonography revealed that none of the axis or fallow does conceived to the inter-species AI. Serum concentrations of P were not elevated 21 d post-AI and serum PSPB was undetectable 4 at d 28 and 35 post-AI for all does. Axis and fallow does maintained with same species axis and fallow clean up sires post-AI resulted in pregnancy rates of 93.8 and 89.5%, respectively and fawning rates of 72.7 and 87.5%, respectively. Using laparoscopic AI procedures, hybridization of axis and fallow does inseminated with fallow and axis buck semen, respectively, did not result in apparent pregnancies. Given the genetic differences between axis and fallow deer (chromosome number: 2n=66 and 68, respectively) and the absence of documented reports of hybridization occurring in large free ranging populations of axis and fallow deer, hybridization between these two species appears unlikely and requires further study.
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