Developmental validation studies were conducted on a polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) based short tandem repeat (STR) multiplex typing system developed for the purpose of genetic individualization and parentage testing in domestic cat samples.
The developmental validation studies conducted on the domestic cat STR multiplex system demonstrated that the assay is robust, reproducible, and reliable for forensic identification. Genetic individualization of animal specimens, domestic cats in the current study, has increasingly been included as key evidence in criminal investigations. It has been reported that pet hairs are invariably transferred to the clothing of those visiting the home of a pet owner. With approximately 73 million cats in one-third of households in the United States, it is not surprising that cat hairs are often part of the physical evidence collected from crime scenes. The system used in the current study simultaneously amplifies 11 polymorphic tetranucleotide STR loci and one gender-identifying sequence tagged site on the Y chromosome sex-determining region Y gene (SRY gene). In order to assess reproducibility of the typing system, the multiplex was amplified using DNA extracted from hair, blood, and buccal samples obtained from each of 13 mixed-breed domestic cats. Additional studies were performed to evaluate the system's species' specificity. Patterns of Mendelian inheritance and mutation rates for the 11 loci were directly examined in a large multi-generation domestic cat pedigree (n = 263). In addition to a description of the samples, the description of material and methods addresses DNA extraction and quantitation, and desalting of PCR products. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 41 references