Restoring the American Chestnut

The American Chestnut was once one of the most important trees in the Eastern US. It was important to wildlife as a food source and to people for a variety of uses. In the early 1900’s an imported Japanese Chestnut tree carried a fungus to which American trees had no immunity. It devastated the native Chestnuts. How can science offer a solution to this problem? Students will study how biotechnology is being used to develop a blight resistant tree. They will engage in hands-on activities that have students apply their knowledge of DNA and genetics to simulate the steps needed to find the genes for resistance and insert them into an American Chestnut tree. Lessons are designed to be used for any level of Biology student and do not require high tech equipment.

Curriculum Author:

Shelley Casey

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