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Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

Volume  14, Issue 3(Special Issue),  July - September 2021, Pages 513-517


Original Article

Diatomological Mapping of Water Bodies of Villages of Karnal, Haryana
1Nandini, 2Priyanka, 3Anjali Malik
1Student, Department of Forensic Science, 2Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology, Dyal Singh College, Karnal -132001, Haryana, India, 3Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, Sharda University, Greater Noida-201310, Uttar Pradesh, India
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Context: Diatoms are unicellular, photosynthesizing algae phytoplankton; they are single-celled aquatic algae. Diatoms are one of the largest group of organisms on earth and are found in different shapes and sizes, but diatoms are easily decipherable due to a unique its cell wall structure. The cell walls possess a characteristic silica coating, which is resistant to decay. It helps them maintain their shapes as it contains a large amount of brittle but hard silica, which is hydrated (SiO2H2O) and noncrystalline. Diatoms have about 200 genera and 1,00,000 species differing in their structure. Diatoms are found at well-lit places as well as in moist conditions. Hence, they perform photosynthesis. Their small size helps them to penetrate human tissue and hence the forensic significance. Particularly in forensic science diatoms help in identifying the drowned dead body of a person and distinguishing between anti-mortem and post-mortem drowning. Aim: The present study aims to identify the species of diatoms in different water bodies of Karnal (villages) and to identify the species which are site-specific and are found in a specific water body. The positive identification of site-specific diatoms will help us to estimate the site of submersion in case of drowning deaths. Materials & Method: In the present study we examined diatoms in water bodies located in the villages of Karnal district of Haryana. For this study we collected water samples from 7 different water bodies including canals, rivers, ponds, lakes, and borewells. The samples were centrifuged and diatoms were concentrated. Microscopic slides were prepared and observed under a compound microscope at 100X magnification. Diatoms were inspected for their morphological types and for mapping purposes. Results: Various diatom species including Actinocyclus sp., Cocconeis sp., and Rhoicosphenia sp., among others were recovered. Some diatoms were found to be site-specific and others were found to be common in all water bodies.

Corresponding Author : Priyanka,