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All the minor concerns about this manuscript were answered, this manuscript is accepted. Congratulations.
We have good news for you - three reviewers were consistently extremely positive about your manuscript and identified only minor grammatical errors. Please go through the comments raised by reviewers and update your manuscript before we formally accept it.
The paper meets these standards.
It is a well designed study and certainly meets these standard.
The findings are valid.
There are several sentences that need work.
line 22. delete 'outbreaks', it was said earlier in the sentence
line 40. delete 'by the insect' .
There are a number of places where in bold it says 'Error! Reference source not found' I do not know what this means.
Line 128 and 129. Delete second 'both'
Line 233. Delete 'is'
Basic reporting: The paper is well-done, though there are some grammatical issues (see below). It is the appropriate length. I would have liked to see some thoughts on the activity of cuticle-related transcripts, which to some extent show some coordinate regulation. Figures and tables are appropriate
l. 21 “a large outbreak of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) outbreak in British Columbia”
l. 39 “Because of the recent move of this insect across the Rocky Mountains by the insect and into the jack pine forests”
l. 120 “representing 4.43% of the 13,088 gene models” sounds like there are 13,088 models. Is the meaning here 13, 088 predicted genes?
l. 230 “One transcript that was annotated as an alcohol dehydrogenase increased significantly between September and November, but does not show a significant decrease in transcription during the spring months” please identify
l. 232 “Because transcript expression data is doesn’t necessarily correspond to functional protein levels in the cell,”
: no problems here.
Validity of the findings: one potential minor problem is that the RNA-Seq data are not verified by qRT-PCR. A statement about the reliability of the method (i.e. referencing Huber’s previous work with the technique) would help.
The manuscript by Robert et al. presents a transcriptomic analysis of mountain pine beetle larvae collected at various periods spanning the beginning and end of overwintering. The structure of the article conforms to PeerJ standards and is written in clear, professional English.
The experimental design is very good and the authors went to great lengths in making sure the transcriptomic data is solid, by performing biological replicates. This design compensates for the lack of validation by Q-PCR, which is usually required in this type of study.
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