Editor rating: 7 / 10Felix Forest –– As stated by one of the reviewers, this study is well executed and brings new information to the field of pollination biology.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Todd Vision –– The authors show that a hopscotch transposable element insertion in a regulatory region upstream of the maize domestication gene tb1 is part of the standing variation within the wild progenitor of maize, teosinte. This polymorphism seems to have been under selection, and hopscotch is very unlikely to have been driven to high frequency in some populations via gene flow from maize. Yet, in teosinte, there is not evidence that this locus alone contributes to the "maize domestication phenotype" of reduced tillering under crowding, and variation in the frequency of the insertion is not associated with obvious environmental differences among populations. This suggests that the maize apical dominance phenotype may result from epistasis between the the hopscotch insertion at tb1 and other yet to be identified loci, and that the high frequency of the hopscotch insertion in some teosinte populations is due to an unknown and unrelated phenotypic effect.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Gerard Lazo –– This work made good use of existing reference genomes for the Solanaceae and contributed additional sequencing efforts from related species. I am aware of some contentions regarding the phylogeny of species within this plant family and the methods used here provide some ways of resolving these issues.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Gerard Lazo –– The authors present tools that can be tested and provide a data-set that can be evaluated. Though the end results may not sway the community in its current methods, it does provide yet another testable feature which will add value in the long-run.
Editor rating: 7 / 10Francis Martin –– Providing a new perspective on mycorrhizal ecology
Editor rating: 7 / 10William DiMichele –– This paper describes a conflict between fossil macroflora and palynoflora in a dryland deposit of Pennsylvanian age (within the Late Paleozoic Ice Age). It interprets the dominance of wetland plants during this interglacial interval of seasonally dry climate as an indication of survival of wetland elements in refugia between periods of extensive wetland development during humid climate intervals. With increasing recognition that the glacial-interglacial periodicity of the "Coal Age" was accompanied by climate oscillations, the question has arisen of what happened to the wetland floras during times when equatorial latitudes were seasonally dry. The present paper provides strong evidence for the persistence of fragmented wetland vegetation within the lowland tropics during these drier intervals of glacial-interglacial cycles.
Editor rating: 8 / 10Dezene Huber –– There is a great deal of current discussion and debate over the role that pesticides - particularly neonicotinoids - may play in pollinator declines. Scientists, policy makers, and the general public are understandably concerned. This field-based study adds new and interesting data to the discussion and has the potential to influence decisions related to regulatory policy.
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