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Evaluation of microbial soil identity in forensic science

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Microbiologic analysis of different soil samples was undertaken to assess the value of this method for forensic purposes. Three groups of micro-organisms were isolated on selective media: bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. Comparison of the morphology of the colonies led to the conclusion of non identity of the soil samples under examination. The method was applied to soil traces on articles of clothing, trousers, shoes, and stockings. It was found that the soil did not originate from the suspected scene of a crime. Examination of the microbiologic soil composition does not provide an absolute certainty of identity, but it is highly reliable.


Mikrobiologische Analysen verschiedener Bodenproben wurden durchgeführt mit dem Zweck, diese Methode für gerichtliche Untersuchungen zu überprüfen. Drei Gruppen Mikroorganismen des Bodens wurden auf selektiven Nährböden isoliert: Bakterien, Pilze und Aktinomyzeten. Durch den Vergleich der Morphologie der gewachsenen Kolonien konnte die Verschiedenheit der Bodenproben herausgefunden und bewiesen werden. Diese Methode wurde für sonstige Bodenspuren, die an Kleidungsstücken klebten, erfolgreich angewendet. Es konnte aus diesen Untersuchungen geschlossen werden, daß die Erde nicht von der Stelle, an der das Verbrechen vorausgesetzt wurde, herstammte. Die Untersuchungen hinsichtlich der mikrobiologischen Zusammensetzung von Bodenproben sind nicht absolut, aber sie sind bei kritischer Beurteilung sehr zuverlässig.

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Correspondence to P. J. Van Dijck.

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Van Dijck, P.J., van de Voorde, H. Evaluation of microbial soil identity in forensic science. Z Rechtsmed 93, 71–77 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00200765

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Key words

  • Soil microbiology
  • Soil identity
  • Soil bacteria
  • Soil fungi
  • Soil actinomycetes


  • Bodenmikrobiologie
  • Bodenidentität
  • Bodenbakterien
  • Bodenpilze
  • Bodenaktinomyzeten