Review History

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  • The initial submission of this article was received on September 11th, 2016 and was peer-reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on September 19th, 2016.
  • The first revision was submitted on September 30th, 2016 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on October 3rd, 2016.


The authors used an external service, Axios Review, to obtain 3 reviews prior to submission to PeerJ. In light of those reviews, they then submitted to PeerJ along with a rebuttal of the reviews and a revised manuscript. PeerJ verified with Axios Review that the reviews were unaltered and also obtained the identity of the reviewers. The Academic Editor examined the prior reviews and felt they were sufficient to make a first decision without further review. The anonymized external reviews and the authors rebuttals are available as a downloadable file below.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· · Academic Editor


The additional citations and text clarifications address my concerns adequately.

External reviews were received for this submission. These reviews were used by the Editor when they made their decision, and can be downloaded below.

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· · Academic Editor

Major Revisions

This is a very interesting study, using indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and the known geographical variation in their efficacy to guide measurements of antioxidants and genes encoding enzymes involved in secondary metabolite synthesis. The paper was submitted with prior reviews from Axios. Overall, I think the authors have answered the points raised by those reviewers. Nonetheless, I think further revision is required. In particular, I’m not sure why so much is made of the observed differences between absolute abundance of squalene synthase and flavanol synthase genes unless it is established that transcription accurately predicts protein abundance and enzyme activity. If this information is available for the species examined, then it should be cited. If not, then I think the authors need to measure enzyme activity or, as they point out themselves in line 351, measure phytochemical levels, to justify the detailed discussion and speculation. Without this additional information, the only really valid results are the antioxidant levels, and I’m not sure that is enough.

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