Editor rating: 9 / 10Luis Eguiarte –– Gunnera is a genus of plants that have fascinated scientist for a long time, in particular for the very large leaves of some species and because its symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria Nostoc. For a many years, some botanists suspected it to be a very old, primitive genus, perhaps basal in the phylogeny of the Angiosperms. While latter molecular phylogenies did not support this position, this paper shows that indeed Gunnera is an old genus, with a complex evolutionary and phylogeographic history, and a recent radiation in the Andes. All these new results are relevant for understanding why the Neotropics have so many plant species, more than any other similar region in the planet.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Curtis Daehler –– This work provides genetic evidence suggesting the native range of a widely distributed animal that was accidentally spread by humans starting hundreds of years ago.
Editor rating: 7 / 10James Reimer –– A taxonomic paper with an interesting story and a solid dataset!
Editor rating: 8 / 10Gabriela Parra Olea –– Herpetofauna from Thailand is far from being known or understood. This paper provides very important data to the field. The authors did a great job in using modern tools to evaluate the validity of the taxon and discussed it in the light of more general themes such a Biogeography and Evolution.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Dany Garant –– Nice overview of published literature on the topic.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Andrew Farke –– Describes a new fossil species from a group of turtles that are ecologically important in North America today.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Xavier Pochon –– This study developed a simple and cost-effective assay that quickly allows for discrimination amongst coral species in the genus Pocillopora using simple PCR amplification followed by digestion with widely available restriction enzymes. Pocilloporid corals exhibit extreme phenotypic plasticity, making morphological identification of species very challenging. The assay was tested on 691 coral samples collected from across the Hawaiian Archipelago and successfully characterised all six Pocillopora species occurring in Hawaii. Compared to sequence-based identification, this method is simple, rapid and represents a cost saving of nearly 95%. This work will benefit future studies of population structure, ecology, biodiversity, evolution and conservation in this challenging coral genus.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Marc Robinson-Rechavi –– This study allows to link natural variation in morphology with genetic divergence in expression patterns, thus helping link ecology to molecular genomics.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Todd Vision –– This is a novel and innovative approach to studying the genomic correlates of convergent evolution. It is likely to inspire similar studies in other systems and for other kinds of genomic changes, as well as bioinformatic work to refine and extend the methods.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Mark Young –– This manuscript is an excellent, thorough description of a new specimen of the iconic early bird Archaeopteryx.
Discussing these articles
Newsweek: "150-Million-Year-Old Feathered Dinosaur Fossil Proves Prehistoric Birds Lived Longer Than Previously Believed"
The Guardian: "The new specimen forcing a radical rethink of Archaeopteryx "