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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Grape Research Helps Answer Climate Change Question

Ancient farmers, through trial and error, determined the best fit between a crop, the soil and weather conditions. They had plenty of land to choose from to find the perfect fields for their crops.

But as the availability of cultivable land diminishes and as climates change, our ability to grow enough food is becoming limited, too.

This is the root of Dr. Laszlo Kovacs’ research. He’s a geneticist and biologyprofessor at Missouri State University interested in the agricultural industry.

More than anything, Kovacs loves being in the beauty of the Ozarks collecting wild relatives of the cultivated grape. Much of Kovacs’ work involves wild grape species because, biologically, saving native plants provides great benefits. Those species may have critical genes for something in the future, which is worth preserving.

For the last 10 years or so, he and his students have been collecting plants of two interesting North American grapes, he tells us more.

Read more about his research at

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