Forensic comparative analysis of soils by the method of sporo-pollen analysis using projection to latent structures discriminant analysis

Keywords: forensic palynology, soil, microscopy, taxonomic composition, percentage, projection to latent structures discriminant analysis


Extensive use of sporo-pollen analysis is largely conditioned by such specific features of pollen and spores as their very-large-scale production in plants, the ability to preserve in soils, presence of characteristic morphological features enabling to distinguish and identify individual taxa, etc.

In Belarus, the method of sporo-pollen analysis has also been implemented while forensic soil examination: it is increasingly applied to solve identification tasks in comparative analysis to establish the belonging of soil layers on physical evidence to the searched area. Its main advantage is that it is a multicomponent analysis allowing to evaluate both the composition of palynoflora and the percentage of several dozen components of sporo-pollen spectra contained in soil samples. Therefore, to determine the belonging of soil layers on physical evidence to the searched area, most informative are data obtained while sporo-pollen analysis, helping forensic experts on the basis of a specific taxonomic composition  of pollen and spores and percentage of spectra components to draw the most valid conclusions.

Detection of pollen and spores in studied samples in a quantity sufficient for comparative analysis enables to statistically process data of samples microscopic examination. Statistical processing of results is one of the characteristic features of sporo-pollen analysis as a method that distinguishes it from other methods implemented in multidisciplinary forensic examination of soil.


Abdulrahaman, A. A., Al Sahli, A. A., Okoli, J. U. (2018). The use of soil palynomorphs in forensics. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management. Vol. 22. No. 1. P. 85—89. DOI: (data obrashche-niia: 20.02.2021).
Horrocks, M., Coulson, S. A., Walsh, K. A. J. (1998). Forensic palynology: variation in the pollen content of soil surface samples. Journal of Forensic Science. Vol. 43. Is. 2. P. 320—323. DOI: (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Kherif, F., Latypova, A. (2020). Principal component analysis. Machine Learning. P. 209—225.
Khokh, A. N., Rylova, T. B. (2018). Dokazatelstvennoe znachenie sporovo-pyltsevogo analiza pri issledovanii veshchestvennykh dokazatelstv. Voprosy kriminologii, kriminalistiki i sudebnoi ehkspertizy. № 1 (43) [in Russian].
Kumari, M., Sankhla, M. S., Nandan, M., Sharma, K., Kumar, R. (2017). Role of forensic palynology in crime investigation. IJournals: International Journal of Social Rel-evance & Concern. Vol. 5. Is. 3. P. 1—13.
Larina, T. V. (1972). Ispolzovanie metoda sporovo-pyltsevogo analiza pri kriminalistich-eskom issledovanii pochv dlia lokalizatsii uchastkov mestnosti. Problemy ehks-pertizy rastitelnykh obieektov. Moskva [in Russian].
Marumo, Y. (2003). Forensic examination of soil evidence. Japanese Journal of sci-ence and technology for identification. No 7. Is. 2. P. 95—111. DOI: https://doi. org/10.3408/jasti.7.95 (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Ochando, J. et al. (2018). Forensic palynology revisited: Case studies from semi-arid Spain. Review of palaeobotany and palynology. Vol. 259. P. 29—38. DOI: https:// (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Pereira, J. S. R., Ribeiro, H., Abreu, I. (2019). Spatial and temporal environmental pollen analysis of footwear worn in the area of Barcelos, North-West Portugal, in a fo-rensic context. Aerobiologia. Vol. 36. No 3. P. 1—6. DOI: s10453-019-09598-8 (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Reis, C. I., Coimbra-Dores, M. J., Rebelo, M. T., Faria, M. S. (2019). Palynological anal-ysis of soil in Portugal: potential for forensic science. Palynology. Vol. 43. Is. 4. P. 585—595. DOI: (data obrash-cheniia: 20.02.2021).
Riding, J. B. (2021). A guide to preparation protocols in palynology. Palynology. Vol. 45. Is. 1. P. 1—110. DOI: (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Ruiz-Perez, D. et al. (2020). So you think you can PLS-DA? BMC bioinformatics. Vol. 21. Is. 1. P. 1—10. DOI: (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Sampaio, P. S. et al. (2020). Identification of rice flour types with near-infrared spectros-copy associated with PLS-DA and SVM methods. European Food Research and Technology. Vol. 246. Is. 3. P. 527—537. DOI: (data obrashcheniia: 20.02.2021).
Walter, O. J., Adekanmbi, O. H., Olowokudejo, J. D. (2019). Palynological and Litholog-ical Investigation of Forensic Materials at the University of Lagos, Nigeria: First Experimental Palynological Approach in Nigeria. Journal of Forensic Science & Criminology. Vol. 7. Is. 1. P. 104.
Wiltshire, P. E. J. (2016). Protocols for forensic palynology. Palynology. Vol. 40, Is. 1. P. 4—24. DOI: (data obrash-cheniia: 20.02.2021).

Abstract views: 152
PDF Downloads: 88 PDF Downloads: 64
How to Cite
Khokh, A., & Shalaboda, V. (2021). Forensic comparative analysis of soils by the method of sporo-pollen analysis using projection to latent structures discriminant analysis. Theory and Practice of Forensic Science and Criminalistics, 23(1), 212-224.