The Olive Propagation Problem

The Olive Propagation Problem




Talal Mousa Hdeib
Supervisor for Biology and General Science
Al Ruseifa Directorate
Ministry of Education – Jordan

Lesson Feedback


In this video lesson, students will learn about the DNA fingerprinting of plants by studying the following real world problem: A farmer bought olive trees of the variety called "nabali", known for producing high amounts of oil. However, he worried that he may have been sold the wrong variety. Since certification of the variety based upon phenotypic characteristic is possible only after several years, how can the farmer identify olive cultivars before waiting that long? The material covered in this lesson doesn’t have many prerequisites - it just requires a little bit of information on DNA structure. Therefore, it is suitable for any level of high school. About 45 minutes is required to complete the lesson, and the only materials needed are figures for the chemical structure of DNA. During the in-class breaks between video segments, students are asked to use the knowledge they have gained to answer challenging questions.

Instructor Biography

Talal Hdeib has a Masters degree in biology (biotechnology). He has worked as a teacher of biology and general science, and more recently as a lecturer for genetics and molecular biology for undergraduate students at Al Balq'a Applied University in the department of biotechnology. Currently he is a Supervisor for Biology and General Science in the Jordan Ministry of Education. He has published papers about using DNA fingerprinting for the genetic analysis of plant genotypes.

Additional Online Resources

Iowa State University: Office of Biotechnology
This web site contains good information about DNA structure and how to make DNA fingerprinting using RFLP techniques.