OzPythonPlex: An optimised forensic STR multiplex assay set for the Australasian carpet python (Morelia spilota)

Sherryn Ciavaglia, Adrian Linacre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Reptile species, and in particular snakes, are protected by national and international agreements yet are commonly handled illegally. To aid in the enforcement of such legislation, we report on the development of three 11-plex assays from the genome of the carpet python to type 24 loci of tetra-nucleotide and penta-nucleotide repeat motifs (pure, compound and complex included). The loci range in size between 70 and 550 bp. Seventeen of the loci are newly characterised with the inclusion of seven previously developed loci to facilitate cross-comparison with previous carpet python genotyping studies. Assays were optimised in accordance with human forensic profiling kits using one nanogram template DNA. Three loci are included in all three of the multiplex reactions as quality assurance markers, to ensure sample identity and genotyping accuracy is maintained across the three profiling assays. Allelic ladders have been developed for the three assays to ensure consistent and precise allele designation. A DNA reference database of allele frequencies is presented based on 249 samples collected from throughout the species native range. A small number of validation tests are conducted to demonstrate the utility of these multiplex assays. We suggest further appropriate validation tests that should be conducted prior to the application of the multiplex assays in criminal investigations involving carpet pythons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-248
Number of pages18
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Allelic ladder
  • Carpet python
  • DNA profiling
  • STR typing
  • Validation
  • Wildlife forensic science


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