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Open AccessArticle
Peer-Review Record

Review of Japanese Pine Bast Scale, Matsucoccus matsumurae (Kuwana) (Coccomorpha: Matsucoccidae), Occurring on Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii Parl.) and Japanese Red Pine (P. densiflora Siebold & Zucc.) from Korea

Forests 2019, 10(8), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080639
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Forests 2019, 10(8), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080639
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts, Monitoring and Management of Forest Pests and Diseases)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Please refer to attached PDF for my review comments and corrections. Only minor corrections and additions to the text are needed.

Comments for author File: Comments.pdf

Author Response

To reviewer 1

We really appreciate your valuable comments to improve our paper. We have revised our paper based on your comments and the changes we made are addressed below.

 

Major comments

In the M&M, please provide more information on the 18S and 28s sequences, including the name of region amplified (and primer if it has a name) and the number of base pairs (bp) of each gene that was obtained and used for analysis.

=> I provided the name of regions amplified (line 95) and the number of base pairs (bp) of each gene (line 111) in the M&M. Also, I presented the names of primers used in this study (Table 2).

 

Sequences for parts of these genes are available on GenBank for Matsucoccus macrocicatrices from the study of Mech et al. (2013) published in the Journal of Economic Entomology. If the same gene regions have been used by Mech et al. and the present study, then M. macrocicatrices could be included in the NJ analyses shown in Figure 7 of the present manuscript.

=> I included the 18S and 28S sequences of M. macrocicatrices downloaded from GenBank. There is no significant genetic distances between individuals of M. macrocicatrices, so I used only one sequence of the species to each NJ analysis.

 

Minor corrections and comments

 

Lines 17 & 18 (in Abstract): please add a comma after thungergianae and remove the words “as a new species”, to read “… under the name M. thunbergianae, which was described by Miller and Park (1987).”

=> Please see the change in line 17-18.

 

Lines 44 & 45: please delete the word “larval” because the females of Matsucoccus almost always are considered to have 3 instars (two nymphal plus the adult instar). Also, immature scale insects are called nymphs, not larvae. Please also change line 45 as follows, so that the text reads: “..males have five stages, including a prepupa and pupa, and ..”. The males have 4 nymphal instars plus the adult instar, as described by Foldi (2004), and not 5 immature instars.

=> Please see the change in line 42-46.

 

Line 49: correct the spelling of M. matsumurae by adding the terminal “e”.

=> Please see the change in line 49.

 

Line 69: please change “that data” to “those data” because the word “data” is plural.

=> Please see the change in line 70.

 

Lines 129–131: please use italics for the names Matsucoccus andM. matsumurae”.

=> Please see the change in line 133-136.

 

Line 159: please change text to: “..might be considered as autapomorphic features that differentiate it from its congeners, ...”

=> Please see the change in line 164.

 

Lines 186–187: change text to: “natural enemies belonging to about 32 species..” Line 187–188: change text to: “.. studies were published on morphological changes ..”

=> Please see the change in line 191-193.

 

Line 205: change text to: “.. an indigenous species or an invasive species.” [Add “an” in front of “invasive”]

=> Please see the change in line 208-209.

 

Lines 210–212: The following sentence is not clear in its meaning: Based on this evidence, the current outbreak of M. matsumurae could not be explained only with “introduction and sudden spread of invasive populations.” Perhaps the word “not” is incorrect.

=> Regarding the opinion in the line 214-216: Some Korean researchers assumed that M. matsumurae is currently introduced and has sudden spread “by them self” to P. thunbergii planted in the northern South Korea. However, I think the populations of M. matsumurae had already spread by human-mediated transport, such as huge reforestation of South Korea between 1953 and 1990. Although there is no evidence, some populations having low density in P. thunbergii planted in the northern area might be activated because of weakness of three condition by abnormal climate in Korea. If the sentence is still unclear, please point again the ambiguity.

 

Line 213: change to: “.. insects, including M. matsumurae, have a ..” [Add commas]

=> Please see the change in line 217.

 

Figure 3 is reproduced from Foldi (2004). Please correct the distortion in the reproduction of the figure. This is apparent from the shape of the cicatrices, which should be circular, as in Foldi’s original drawing. Also, permission usually must be obtained to reproduce a published figure from another author’s paper. Please check whether the copyright for Foldi’s figure is held by the journal or by Imre Foldi, and then obtain permission for your use in the present manuscript. Please state in your caption to Figure 3 that you reproduce with permission of either the journal (name it) or I. Foldi (state whichever is appropriate).

=> I had the permission of I. Foldi. I also tried to get it from the journal but I still wait for the reply. Tentatively, I stated it following your comments (line 292-293) because coming deadline of uploading revision. Following the response from the journal, I will make change in the sentence.

 

Figure 5 was reproduced from Morrison (1928) but copyright will have expired on use of this figure and thus reproduction is appropriate.

=> I got it.

 

Line 377: The reference by Kanda (1941) is missing from the list.

=> I added the missing reference by Kanda (1941). Please see the line 449.

 

Lines 375 & 395: please use capital first letters for the journal name, as follows: Journal of Chemical Ecology.

Line 384: please use capital first letters for the journal name.

Lines 397–398, 400–401, 424, 429, 431–432 & 434–435: please use capital first letters for the journal names.

=> I checked the journal names of all the reference and revised following your comments (line 424-511).

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

This manuscript examines the genotypic and morphological similarities of M. matsumurae, a scale endemic to Japan, and M. thunbergianae, a congener of M. matsumurae found in Korea that has been suggested to be synonymous with M. matsumurae. The authors follow-up work done by a previous study and evaluate the similarities between the two groups by comparing morphological and genomic features of known M. matsumurae individuals with those of unknown Matsucoccus spp. identity collected across Korea. Based upon the authors' work, the conclusion is made that the individuals collected across Korea are M. matsumurae and that M. matsumurae and M. thunbergianae are synonymous, corroborating previous work. 


General Comments:

Generally, I enjoyed reading this manuscript. The authors have presented the morphological and genomic results effectively, and this work, including the images of distinguishing morphological features in comparison with images from the original species description, will prove a valuable reference for future work.

Many of my comments are hosted in the Specific Comments section. However, one major critique of the current manuscript is its lack of Tables, despite their reference in the manuscript text. References are made to 3 tables, but none of these tables are present in the manuscript. Given the tables' apparent information on sampled populations, PCR primer sequences, data deposition, and genetic distance results, the current manuscript is incomplete and cannot be evaluated fully. 


Specific Comments:

Title: I recommend making the following changes to the title to improve clarity: "Review of Japanese Pine Bast Scale, Matsucoccus matsumurae (Coccomorpha: Matsucoccidae), occurrence on Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) and Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) in Korea."


Line 14 Abstract: The single quotation marks around 'Japanese pine bast scale' can be removed, since this is the most widely accepted common name for the species.


Line 15 Abstract: I would recommend changing America to North America.


Lines 20-28 Abstract: I recommend changing the flow of these sentences to read something like the following: "However, M. thunbergianae is still considered a valid species in Korea. Since supporting data for the synonyms are unavailable in any DNA database, we performed morphological and molecular comparisons to review the results of Booth and Gullan (2006) using samples of M. matsumurae collected from Japan and topotype materials of M. thunbergianae from Korea. Our study supports the opinion of Booth and Gullan (2006), as the morphological features of the adult female and male of M. thunbergianae are identical to those of M. matsumurae, and DNA sequences (18S and 28S) of M. thunbergianae showed identical or very low genetic distances with those of M. matsumurae. Additionally, regional sampling of Korea produced the first documented occurrence of M. matsumurae in Jeju."


Line 32: Matsucoccidae should be italicized. Please ensure all mention of species Latin binomial or taxonomic hierarchies are italicized.


Lines 49-50: "In China, more than 70,000 km2 of pine forest damage by M. matsumurae had been reported each year despite..." Please provide a range of years between which damage has been reported, as this will improve readability and clarity. For example, ""In China, more than 70,000 km2 of pine forest damage by M. matsumurae had been reported each year between xxxx and xxxx despite..."


Lines 61-65: Similar to the Abstract, I would recommend switching the order of these sentences. The issue appears to be that M. thunbergianae is still considered a valid species in Korea despite suggestions that the two species are synonymous, and an evaluation between M. thunbergianae collected from Korea and M. matsumurae was not possible due to the absence of DNA data from any available database, not vice versa as it is presented currently.


Lines 113-114: This sentence is unnecessary and should be removed. All of the information provided in this sentence is abundantly evident in the succeeding sections of the Results. 


Line 166-167: "As already proved by Booth and Gullan (2006)…" I would recommend changing the verbiage "already proven" to "demonstrated" or "suggested", since it is often difficult to unequivocally prove something scientifically.


Line 176: "...and this study both showed..." I would recommend changing the word "showed" to "suggest". 


Lines 199-200: I suggest removing the words "from the southern and northern regions", since the sentence implies that the species is widespread across the entire country. 


Line 220: Since your results corroborate the work of Booth and Gullan (2006) more so than verify, I would recommend changing the word "verify" to "corroborate".


Figure 2 and Figure 7: Since these figures depict information pertinent to your study design and research, I would recommend embedding them in the body of the manuscript instead of in the Appendix. This recommendation would likely apply when adding the missing tables.


Figure 2: I suggest adding a locator map to this figure showing the location of Korea and Japan in the context of East Asia. This will allow readers unfamiliar with the region's geography to better understand the study's location. It would also be appropriate to label both Korea and Japan in the figure.

Author Response

To reviewer 2

We really appreciate your valuable comments to improve our paper. We have revised our paper based on your comments and the changes we made are addressed below.

 

General comments

One major critique of the current manuscript is its lack of Tables, despite their reference in the manuscript text. References are made to 3 tables, but none of these tables are present in the manuscript. Given the tables' apparent information on sampled populations, PCR primer sequences, data deposition, and genetic distance results, the current manuscript is incomplete and cannot be evaluated fully. 

=> Although I uploaded the manuscript including tables when I submitted it to journal, all tables might be omitted in the combined manuscript for review. I added the missing table in the revised manuscript. Please see the line under 364 showing four tables.

 

Specific Comments:

Title: I recommend making the following changes to the title to improve clarity: "Review of Japanese Pine Bast Scale, Matsucoccus matsumurae (Coccomorpha: Matsucoccidae), occurrence on Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) and Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) in Korea."

=> Please see the change in the line 2-5.

 

Line 14 Abstract: The single quotation marks around 'Japanese pine bast scale' can be removed, since this is the most widely accepted common name for the species.

=> Please see the change in the line 14.

 

Line 15 Abstract: I would recommend changing America to North America.

=> Please see the change in the line 15.

 

Lines 20-28 Abstract: I recommend changing the flow of these sentences to read something like the following: "However, M. thunbergianae is still considered a valid species in Korea. Since supporting data for the synonyms are unavailable in any DNA database, we performed morphological and molecular comparisons to review the results of Booth and Gullan (2006) using samples of M. matsumurae collected from Japan and topotype materials of M. thunbergianae from Korea. Our study supports the opinion of Booth and Gullan (2006), as the morphological features of the adult female and male of M. thunbergianae are identical to those of M. matsumurae, and DNA sequences (18S and 28S) of M. thunbergianae showed identical or very low genetic distances with those of M. matsumurae. Additionally, regional sampling of Korea produced the first documented occurrence of M. matsumurae in Jeju."

=> Please see the change in the line 20-28.

 

Line 32: Matsucoccidae should be italicized. Please ensure all mention of species Latin binomial or taxonomic hierarchies are italicized.

=> I didn’t make Matsucoccidae italicized. Usually I know only genus and species Latin names should be italicized.

 

Lines 49-50: "In China, more than 70,000 km2 of pine forest damage by M. matsumurae had been reported each year despite..." Please provide a range of years between which damage has been reported, as this will improve readability and clarity. For example, ""In China, more than 70,000 km2 of pine forest damage by M. matsumurae had been reported each year between xxxx and xxxx despite..."

=> Please see the change in the line 50, however there is no more specific years provided in the original reference.

 

Lines 61-65: Similar to the Abstract, I would recommend switching the order of these sentences. The issue appears to be that M. thunbergianae is still considered a valid species in Korea despite suggestions that the two species are synonymous, and an evaluation between M. thunbergianaecollected from Korea and M. matsumurae was not possible due to the absence of DNA data from any available database, not vice versa as it is presented currently.

=> Please see the change in the line 62-66.

 

Lines 113-114: This sentence is unnecessary and should be removed. All of the information provided in this sentence is abundantly evident in the succeeding sections of the Results. 

=> I didn’t delete the sentence because I think a general comment for the result is needed in the section (line 118-119).  

 

Line 166-167: "As already proved by Booth and Gullan (2006)…" I would recommend changing the verbiage "already proven" to "demonstrated" or "suggested", since it is often difficult to unequivocally prove something scientifically.

=> Please see the change in the line 171.

 

Line 176: "...and this study both showed..." I would recommend changing the word "showed" to "suggest". 

=> Please see the change in the line 181.

 

Lines 199-200: I suggest removing the words "from the southern and northern regions", since the sentence implies that the species is widespread across the entire country. 

=> Please see the change in the line 204.

 

Line 220: Since your results corroborate the work of Booth and Gullan (2006) more so than verify, I would recommend changing the word "verify" to "corroborate".

=> Please see the change in the line 224.

 

Figure 2 and Figure 7: Since these figures depict information pertinent to your study design and research, I would recommend embedding them in the body of the manuscript instead of in the Appendix. This recommendation would likely apply when adding the missing tables.

=> All figures and tables would be embedded in the body of the paper. I will check again when I receive the proofreading for publication.

 

Figure 2: I suggest adding a locator map to this figure showing the location of Korea and Japan in the context of East Asia. This will allow readers unfamiliar with the region's geography to better understand the study's location. It would also be appropriate to label both Korea and Japan in the figure.

=> Please see the change in the figure 2 (line 243-257).

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

The paper is interesting and well written. Morphological study as well as DNA (18S and 28S) showed very low genetic distances between Matsucoccus matsumurae from Japan and M. thunbergianae from Korea which support the idea to synonymize both names o scale. I can support publication it in Forests.

line 1

remove text in this line

line 29

not to repeat as keywords words from the title

line 33-37

check fonts and unify them

line 61-63

check fonts and unify them

130-131

put latin names in italic

line 209

change comas to dots ca. 308.624 trees

line 210

change comas to dots: 105.863

line 225-227

do not forget to replace comments withh necessary acknowledgments

lines 231-233

remove current remarks and reveal funding sources


Author Response

To reviewer 3

We really appreciate your valuable comments to improve our paper. We have revised our paper based on your comments and the changes we made are addressed below.

 

line 1

remove text in this line

=> I removed the text except for “Article.”

line 29

not to repeat as keywords words from the title

=> I deleted the keywords repeated in the title.

line 33-37

check fonts and unify them

line 61-63

check fonts and unify them

=> I revised all text as common fonts.

130-131

put latin names in italic

=> Please see the change in the line 134-136.

line 209

change comas to dots ca. 308.624 trees

line 210

change comas to dots: 105.863

=> Please see the change in the line 213-214.

line 225-227 

do not forget to replace comments withh necessary acknowledgments 

=> Please see the change in the line 229-233.

lines 231-233 

remove current remarks and reveal funding sources

=> Please see the change in the line 237.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

General Comments:

I found the manuscript to be well-revised. Thank you for considering and incorporating my comments into your manuscript. My present comments are minor and are hosted in the specific comments.


Specific Comments (line numbers refer to manuscript with track changes):

Line 123: Remove "finally" and insert a comma before "and". The sentence should read "...sequences were removed, and 361 base pairs from 18S..."

Line 232-233: I disagree with reviewer 3: a comma, not a period, is more appropriate for use in "308,624 trees" and "105,863 ha", as this is showing numbers greater than 1,000 and not fractional numbers. 

Table 1. Since you have included north and east GPS coordinates, please add the datum (e.g., WGS84 or other appropriate datum) to the table caption.

Figure 7: There is no "B" section letter. Also, the font is rather small and is difficult to read; please consider making this font larger. 

Table 2: The "References" column is unnecessary and can be deleted.

Author Response

To reviewer 2

We really thank you for your second review for the manuscript. We have revised our paper based on your comments and the changes we made are addressed below.

 

Specific Comments (line numbers refer to revised manuscript)

Line 123: Remove "finally" and insert a comma before "and". The sentence should read "...sequences were removed, and 361 base pairs from 18S..."

=> Please see the change in the line 111.

 

Line 232-233: I disagree with reviewer 3: a comma, not a period, is more appropriate for use in "308,624 trees" and "105,863 ha", as this is showing numbers greater than 1,000 and not fractional numbers.

=> Please see the change in the line 212-213.

 

Table 1. Since you have included north and east GPS coordinates, please add the datum (e.g., WGS84 or other appropriate datum) to the table caption.

=> Following your comment, I added the datum “GPS coordinates; WGS84 coordinate system” to the table caption.

 

Figure 7: There is no "B" section letter. Also, the font is rather small and is difficult to read; please consider making this font larger.

=> I added letter “B” in Figure 7 and increased the size of figure for making it readable.

 

Table 2: The "References" column is unnecessary and can be deleted.

=> Following your comment, I deleted the “reference” in Table 2.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

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