T.K. Ralebitso-Senior, T.J.U. Thompson and H.E. Carney
In the mid-1990s, the crime scene toolkit was revolutionised by the introduction of
DNA-based analyses such as the polymerase chain reaction, low copy number DNA analysis,
short-tandem repeat typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis and variable number tandem
repeat. Since then, methodological advances in other disciplines, especially molecular
microbial ecology, can now be adapted for cutting-edge applications in forensic contexts.
Despite several studies and discussions, there is, however, currently very little evidence
of these techniques adoption at the contemporary crime scene. Consequently, this article
discusses some of the popular omics and their current and potential exploitations in the
forensic ecogenomics of body decomposition in a crime scene. Thus, together with published
supportive findings and discourse, knowledge gaps are identified. These then justify the
need for more comprehensive, directed, concerted and global research towards
state-of-the-art microecophysiology method application and/or adaptation for subsequent
successful exploitations in this additional context of microbial forensics.