Cat STR Assay: Development of the "MeowPlex"


Participants: John M. Butler (NIST), Victor A. David (NCI-Frederick) and Marilyn Menotti-Raymond (NCI-Frederick)


Project Timeframe: October 2001 to August 2002


Purpose: To put 11 tetranucleotide cat STR markers along with a sex-typing marker provided by the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity (NCI-Frederick) into a single multiplex amplification reaction that could be used to evaluate reference samples from cats for population analyses.


Progress: The Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute's Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center worked for several years with NIJ funding towards the development of a forensic cat STR typing system. The goals for this project involved the selection of polymorphic tetranucleotide STR loci with similar characteristics to the 13 STR loci in use today for the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the creation of a robust multiplex assay to enable efficient typing of these cat STRs, and the development of population databases for various cat breeds in order to appropriately model the population genetics. NCI teamed with NIST for the multiplex PCR assay development. The multiplex STR assay, which was dubbed the "MeowPlex", was completed at NIST in the summer of 2002 and provided to our NCI-Frederick collaborators. Since then, over 1,000 cat samples have been run with the assay, some preliminary species-specificity studies were completed, and the MeowPlex primer sequences published.



Publications or Presentations Resulting From This Project:

Menotti-Raymond, M.A., David, V.A., Wachter, L.A., Butler, J.M., O’Brien, S.J. (2005) An STR forensic typing system for genetic individualization of domestic cat (Felis catus) samples. J. Forensic Sci. 50(5): 1061-1070.

Butler, J.M., David, V.A., O’Brien, S.J., Menotti-Raymond, M. (2002) The MeowPlex: a new DNA test using tetranucleotide STR markers for the domestic cat. Profiles in DNA, Promega Corporation, Volume 5, No. 2, pp. 7–10.


For protocol, see [catSTRs.htm]


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Last updated: 07/05/2007

Disclaimer: This project was supported by National Institute of Justice Grant Number 2003-IJ-R-029, which is an interagency agreement between NIJ and the NIST Office of Law Enforcement Standards, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice. Certain commercial equipment, instruments and materials are identified in order to specify experimental procedures as completely as possible.  In no case does such identification imply a recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology nor does it imply that any of the materials, instruments or equipment identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.