Microbiome Of Death

A collection of papers investigating the microbiology of decomposing bodies – either animals or humans. Some trees and leaves too. Also, how (animal) fecal samples decay in the field. Not for the weak of heart. Or during lunch. Feel free to suggest more in the comments. Updated September 2016. Also see Forensic Microbiology and Archaeological Microbiology.


Research papers on human/animal body decay

Changes in Soil Microbial Activity Following Cadaver Decomposition During Spring and Summer Months in Southern Ontario – Heloise A. Breton – Soil in Criminal and Environmental Forensics – September 2016

Effect of Substrate on Identification of Microbial Communities in Poultry Carcass Composting and Microorganisms Associated with Poultry Carcass Decomposition – Jie Wang – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry – August 2016

Human Thanatomicrobiome Succession and Time Since Death – Gulnaz T. Javan – Scientific Reports – July 2016

Microbiology of death – Jessica L. Metcalf – July 2016

Potential use of bacterial community succession for estimating post-mortem interval as revealed by high-throughput sequencing – Juanjuan Guo – Scientific Reports – April 2016

Fluorescently labeled bacteria provide insight on post-mortem microbial transmigration – Z.M. Burcham – Forensic Science International – March 2016

Microbial Signatures of Cadaver Gravesoil During Decomposition – Sheree J. Finley – Microbial Ecology – January 2016

Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals – Jennifer M. Lang – Microorganisms – January 2016

Microbial community assembly and metabolic function during mammalian corpse decomposition – Jessica L. Metcalf – Science – December 2015

The Potential of High-throughput Metagenomic Sequencing of Aquatic Bacterial Communities to Estimate the Postmortem Submersion Interval – Mark Eric Benbow – Journal of Forensic Sciences – 2015

Microbiological Analysis of Necrosols Collected from Urban Cemeteries in Poland – Ireneusz Całkosiński – BioMed Research International – 2015

The Potential of High-throughput Metagenomic Sequencing of Aquatic Bacterial Communities to Estimate the Postmortem Submersion Interval – Mark Eric Benbow – Journal of Forensic Sciences – 2015

Using Bacterial and Necrophagous Insect Dynamics for Post-Mortem Interval Estimation during Cold Season: Novel Case Study in Romania – Lavinia Iancu – Forensic Science International – 2015

Soil fungal community shift evaluation as a potential cadaver decomposition indicator – Monica Chimutsa – Forensic Science International – 2015

The Search for a Volatile Human Specific Marker in the Decomposition Process – E. Rosier – PLOS ONE – 2015

An RNA-based analysis of changes in biodiversity indices in response to Sus scrofa domesticus decomposition – R.C. Bergmann – Forensic Science International – August 2014

Research papers on leaf/tree/wood decay

Fungal endophytes as priority colonizers initiating wood decomposition – Zewei Song – Functional Ecology – September 2016

Review: Bacteria in decomposing wood and their interactions with wood-decay fungi – Sarah R. Johnston – FEMS Microbiology Ecology – August 2016

Review: Plant litter decomposition: drivers insight to the ecological process – Gaurav Mishra – European Journal of Biological Research – July 2016

Patterns of natural fungal community assembly during initial decay of coniferous and broadleaf tree logs – Annemieke van der Wal – Ecosphere – July 2016

Life in leaf litter: novel insights into community dynamics of bacteria and fungi during litter decomposition – Witoon Purahong – Molecular Ecology – June 2016

Natural decay process affects the abundance and community structure of Bacteria and Archaea in Picea abies logs – J.M. Rinta-Kanto – FEMS Microbiology Ecology – April 2016

Bacterial Community Succession in Pine-Wood Decomposition – Anna M. Kielak – Frontiers in Microbiology – March 2016

A pyrosequencing insight into sprawling bacterial diversity and community dynamics in decaying deadwood logs of Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies – Björn Hoppe – Scientific Reports – January 2016

Special topic: Decay of (animal) fecal samples in the field

Rapid Microbiome Changes in Freshly Deposited Cow Feces under Field Conditions – Kelvin Wong – Frontiers in Microbiology – April 2016

The Influence of Time and Plant Species on the Composition of the Decomposing Bacterial Community in a Stream Ecosystem – Adam S. Wymore – Microbial Ecology – February 2016

Shifts in the gut microbiome observed in wildlife faecal samples exposed to natural weather conditions: lessons from time-series analyses using next-generation sequencing for application in field studies – Sebastian Menke – Methods in Ecology and Evolution – May 2015

Decay of fecal indicator bacterial populations and bovine-associated source tracking markers in freshly deposited cowpats – Adelumola Oladeinde – Applied and Environmental Microbiology – October 2013

Survival of Indicator and Pathogenic Bacteria in Bovine Feces on Pasture – Lester W. Sinton – Applied and Environmental Microbiology – December 2007

Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli Contamination of Root and Leaf Vegetables Grown in Soils with Incorporated Bovine Manure – Erin E. Natvig – Applied and Environmental Microbiology – June 2002

Review articles

The Thanatomicrobiome: A Missing Piece of the Microbial Puzzle of Death – Gulnaz T. Javan – Frontiers in Microbiology – February 2016

Popular press articles:

Thousands of unexpected microbes break down our bodies after death – Elizabeth Pennisi – Science – December 2015

Meet the Necrobiome: The Waves of Microbes That Will Eat Your Corpse – Ed Yong – The Atlantic – December 2015

Tiny Witnesses: Microbes Can Tell When A Murder Victim Died – Rob Stein – NPR – December 2015

Isolate the ‘human smell of death’ – Elizabeth Pennisi – Science – September 2015

Your death microbiome could catch your killer – Anna Williams – New Scientist – August 2014


2 thoughts on “Microbiome Of Death

  1. Pingback: Microbiome Paper Collection updates | Microbiome Digest - Bik's Picks

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