Mitochondrial-DNA restriction-site maps were constructed for several cervid taxa in the subfamilies Cervinae and Odocoileinae. Parsimony analyses of restriction sites and pair-wise analyses of genetic distances resulted in dendrograms congruent with the subfamily designations. Relationships within the Odocoileinae determined from genetic distances generally were concordant with those for nuclear-encoded allozymes and morphology. However, mitochondrial-DNA relationships were incongruent with some generic designations and intraspecific divergence in Odocoileus hemionus was greater than that between some genera. Because mitochondrial DNA exhibits considerable intraspecific variation and is inherited as a single locus, relationships based on mitochondrial DNA may not be concordant with true species phylogenies.

Author notes

Present address: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Research Center, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503