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Bacterial Detectives: Investigating fabric presence and type on grave soil necrobiome dynamics

Watson, P, Shum, P, Assi, S and Ralebitso Senior, TK (2024) Bacterial Detectives: Investigating fabric presence and type on grave soil necrobiome dynamics. In: The Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2024, 8-11 April 2024, Edinburgh International Convention Centre.

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The unique and ubiquitous nature of the microbiome has garnered interest for forensic applications such as: geolocation, bodily fluid and personal item identification. Upon death the successional necrobiome can provide considerable insights. Measurement of subsurface grave soil has proven a successful means of discriminating burial locale and postmortem (PMI) / postburial (PBI) interval. Further knowledge development is pertinent to address current gaps prior to implementation to formulate forensic models. One key variable is the presence and type of carrion-associated fabric, with the understanding that clothing influences decomposition atrophy, entomology and movement of cadaveric fluids. We collected grave soil from 15 ex situ laboratory-based murine decomposition microcosms associated with three different fabric types over 170 days. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) quantified with Hill ecological indices (0D=species richness, 1D, 2D=species diversity) highlighted temporal clustering of soils, irrespective of fabric type when principal component analysis (PCA) was applied. However, control soils could not be consistently discriminated. High-resolution metabarcoding (16S rRNA) recorded temporal class – and order-level bacterial markers at class such as, Spirochaetia (10.2%), Sphingobacteria (5.2%), Legionellales (1.5%), and Saprospirales (1.8%) at PBI=32 of advanced decay. Family and genus level taxonomic resolution highlighted measurable increases in Pseudomonas PBI=8 in cotton- (8.7%) and polyester- (18.3%) wrapped carrion microcosms. Thus, fabric presence and type were reflected in the simulation grave soil necrobiome. However, this study questions the efficacy of Mus musculus or mammalian proxies and simulation decomposition microcosms due to ethical constraints, in conducting applicable forensic research in lieu of human taphonomy facilities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: LJMU & Microbiology Society
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2024 15:30
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2024 15:30
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23013
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