When considering agriculture in Missouri, grapes may not be the first thing to come to mind. However, they are an important part of our economy. Not only are several varieties indigenous to the region, but many are cultivated for jellies, juices and, of course, wines. MSU William H. Darr College of Agriculture has an outstanding group of scientists who study many aspects of locally grown grapes, including the reaction of vines to illness. In that vein, Dr. Wenping Qiu and his team have spent over a decade studying the impact of viruses on grapevines. In fact, they have identified a specific kind of virus as the cause of disease in local grapes. Dr. Qiu and his colleague, Sylvia Petersen come by this week to chat about the grapes, the virus and their role in understanding both.