Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Forensic Botany: Used for Criminal Investigation


                       Various Botany branches work on forensic and evolution of the plant molecular biology in the forensic branch.  Forensic Botany means the use of botanical evidence in criminal investigation, either civil or criminal cases.  It is divided into many classes according to the botanical evidence viz.'Plant anatomy' (analysis of the cellular characteristics of the plant), 'Plant systematics' (Taxonomy), 'Palynology' (the study of pollen), 'Plant ecology' (plant succession patterns), 'Limnology' (the study of freshwater ecology, 'Plant anatomy' was an analysis of the use of pant sections, leaf morphology, tree anatomy, tree growth pattern.  The evolutionary relationship between the plant species and its taxonomy, which is the naming of plant species, was observed in 'Plant Systematic.'  Identification of species is the first step in the study of case-by-case botanical proof.  In the case of 'Forensic Palynology,' the use of pollen was seen in the criminal investigation.  In which the leading group of plants known as pollen sources, including flowering plants.  Pollen is not visually seen microscopic.  It was trace evidence during the crime because pollen morphology collection helps to classify the plant genus present in the surrounding vegetation.  In 'Plant Ecology' it includes researching vegetation growth patterns in areas that have been disrupted; the flowering part of the plant can help to predict the time of death that is when the body is discovered lying on top of the weed plant with broken top valuable knowledge is gained at a definite time when death occurs. In 'Limnology,' freshwater ecology research was performed in which aquatic plants were useful.  The forensic botanist has now used 'DNA technology.'  The first court case that used plant DNA typing to seek legal acceptance was a murder in the Maricopa country of Arizona in 1992.  In forensic botany, this DNA technology offers precious evidence to settle criminal cases.     


                 The plant evidence was useful for determining if a death was accidental, suicide, or homicide, or what time of year burial may be taken. These are all determined by using plant evidence.  These plant evidence may be primary or secondary.  Also, these plant body help for the search for the missing body.  Since the investigation, plant evidence may follow stapes viz.' Recognition', 'Documentation,' 'Collection,' 'Preservation.'  In the first stapes ‘Recognition’ where the crime has happened that placed find with using plant evidence observed from that location.  Then the second stapes ‘Documentation’ all these crime evidence included in a written form. This documentation is necessary to preserve the characters and manners in which evidence is located and collected from that region.  These proper senses of evidence involved multiple formats as a general note, photographs, videotaping, sketches, and diagrams documentation were essential for any evidence.  In the third stape, ‘Collection’ in which plant evidence is collected, proceeds for further investigation. The last stapes are ‘Preservation.' These collected plant samples for preserved up to completely solve these cases. 

    Pollen grains under the 10X 

Civil and criminal case investigation for studied how the use of spores and pollens as evidence.  The branch of forensic palynology has been successfully used as a crime-fighting tool.  Spores and pollens are small and almost universal in distribution, and necked eyes cannot see it, and hence, the criminal does not remove this evidence from the crime area.  Pollens resist decomposition because they have a multilayered cell wall composed of cellulose and an organic molecule known as sporopollenin.  Pollens' walls can be preserved for hundreds of million years. The collection sample of cones, flowers, fruits, galls, seeds, or leaves was collected with palynologists' help. These collected samples stored in newspapers are not stored in a plastic container because they will be infected with some fungi or bacteria they destroyed.


              There is various use of ‘Forensic ecology,' ‘Botany,' and ‘Palynology’ in a criminal investigation.  These studies are essential for solving the criminal cases because it helps determine times of deposition of bodies, the origin of the objects, and palynology. It helps to understand the study of pollen, pollen spores, and fungal spores.  Ecology helps the study of the ecosystem for the relation between investigated materials and the body.  The anatomy of plants helps identification of what food was eaten by the victim before death.  When new pollens and spores fall on the ground, there are already existing previous pollen grains on the ground surface.  In the forensic study, the timing of sampling is essential; these all studied under palynology.  They study up to the source of trace evidence is to be found.  They also study the surface samples, samples mixed with the footwear, and samples mixed with vehicles.


                     The importance of forensic projects was challenging to all students because in which analysis of plant evidence was studied.  It was a study using light and polarized light microscopy.  Students enjoy forensic related projects and increase with knowledge and skill.  In forensic projects, students studied the crystals, plastids, fibers, pigments, tissue, arranging the cell, and differentiated food plants from one another; students observed crime-related all matter or how to solve the criminal cases.   The botany related to all evidence was very important in the forensic case study.  There are various types of instruments used in the forensic lab using these instruments; they observed plant materials and a relationship between them and the dead body.  Students studied these forensic related projects are significant.           


             The evolved technology, i.e., ‘DNA analysis,' was applied to forensic cases.  They studied how the DNA analysis technique was used to solve forensic cases.  DNA was carried all genetic information; hence, the use of DNA tests in forensic cases gives a new thing to human identification.  Genetic material was unique for each individual; we can prove the legal proofs in court using these DNA tests. In an overview of DNA technology's evolution in forensic botany to study forensic cases, the term used as viz. “DNA fingerprinting," "Teeth and DNA analysis," "DNA isolation," "Forensic DNA typing” any organism identified by using the DNA sequences because it is unique to each species.  Every cell of an individual carries a copy of each DNA sequence.  In DNA technology, significantly less material is required to test because very much DNA can be extracted from the tooth, and DNA was preserved for a long time in tooth or bones.  Plants contain mtDNA and cDNA, which are one of the powerful tools in forensic biology.  Now a day’s very advanced technology of molecular biology can be used in forensic to solve criminal and civil cases.


 Microscopic plant evidence is used in forensic science.  "Forensic mycology" it is now the recently advanced tool used in the forensic study.  Forensic botanist observed botanical evidence and gave the legal report to the forensic lab.  ‘Plant Anatomy, ‘Plant Taxonomy,' 'Plant Ecology ‘are the three main branches that are very useful in the forensic case study.  Plant material was observed everywhere. They were present near or attached to the victim's body. It is beneficial to investigate plant or its various parts studied in particular branches.  This collected evidence identified these various branches.  These all observations using plant evidence are included in the forensic botany.

            Role of Forensic Botany in solving criminal cases.  The collection of data and its preservation was essential for this study.  Forensic botany can provide significant support to preserve the material.  The cloths of the victim, some of the plant material, are to be attached it is collected these were observed, and classification is by a forensic botanist. These species identification helped find the location or the victim's relation to that point and observed any microscopic damage on the plant organs. This study was included in the plant anatomy branch of Forensic Botany.


The morphology of pollens in criminal investigations.  Pollens' spore production and its dispersion are helped to determine the geographical location.  Recently for solving criminal cases, pollens are mainly studied.  The branch of Palynology having very much crucial in forensic science.  It helped to compare the incident occurred vegetation to the surrounding vegetation; it helps solve the problems and gives the diversities of this area.  Our naked eyes do not observe some pollen; hence, criminals cannot remove this evidence from the dead body they studied under the Palyno-Forensic Botany.

                                                                                                            Multicellular Trichomes

             Some of the Forensic Botany disciplines because of the vast expansion in the study of plant science.  New approaches, protocols, and analytical techniques needed to be developed for the in-depth analysis of the topic.  Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and procedures for justice.  Forensic Botany can play a valuable role in a criminal investigation.  Their various botanical fields are useful viz. ‘Plant taxonomy’, ‘Plant palynology,’ ‘Plant ecology’, Plant limnology’, recent advanced ‘Molecular plant biology’.  These branches are useful in solving crime.  For the study of using these, all branches developed human research technology.

               Various environmental factors can also be affected by pollens as temperature, soil.  Pollens of some plants cannot be survived for high temperatures; hence, they need the use of preservation methods of pollens because the pollen was one of the most crucial pieces of evidence to solve the criminal cases.  Therefore, pollen grains are used to preserve for further forensic study.

Unicellular pointed trichomes

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