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Abiotic and Biotic Factors Regulating Inter-Kingdom Engagement Between Insects and Microbe Activity on Vertebrate Remains

NCJ Number
Insects Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: 2017
Date Published
15 pages

This article reviews bacterial factors that impact the decomposition of vertebrate remains.


A number of abiotic and biotic factors are known to regulate arthropod attraction, colonization, and use of decomposing vertebrate remains. Such information is critical when assessing arthropod evidence associated with vertebrate remains in terms of forensic relevance. Interactions are not limited to just between the resource and arthropods. There is another biotic factor that has been historically overlooked; however, with the advent of high-throughput sequencing, and other molecular techniques, a microscopic world has been revealed as having a major role in carrion position patterns in association with arthropods. This article discusses the need for integrative research of entomology and microbiology, the body of knowledge about microbes associated with decomposing vertebrate remains, and abiotic and biotic factors in decomposition. This discussion intends to bring awareness to forensic microbiology, demonstrate its relevance to forensic entomology, and inspire future research on this topic in order to improve the determination of the time of death in relation to arthropod attraction, colonization, and use of vertebrate remains. 4 figures and 158 references (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017