Zhaomei Qi, Ping Lu, Xinyuan Long, Xinyu Cao, Mengchun Wu, Kaiyun Xin, Tuan Xue, Xinlong Gao, Yi Huang, Qinhu Wang, Cong Jiang, Jin-Rong Xu, Huiquan Liu

Adaptive advantages of restorative RNA editing in fungi for resolving survival-reproduction trade-offs

  • Multidisciplinary

RNA editing in various organisms commonly restores RNA sequences to their ancestral state, but its adaptive advantages are debated. In fungi, restorative editing corrects premature stop codons in pseudogenes specifically during sexual reproduction. We characterized 71 pseudogenes and their restorative editing in Fusarium graminearum , demonstrating that restorative editing of 16 pseudogenes is crucial for germ tissue development in fruiting bodies. Our results also revealed that the emergence of premature stop codons is facilitated by restorative editing and that premature stop codons corrected by restorative editing are selectively favored over ancestral amino acid codons. Furthermore, we found that ancestral versions of pseudogenes have antagonistic effects on reproduction and survival. Restorative editing eliminates the survival costs of reproduction caused by antagonistic pleiotropy and provides a selective advantage in fungi. Our findings highlight the importance of restorative editing in the evolution of fungal complex multicellularity and provide empirical evidence that restorative editing serves as an adaptive mechanism enabling the resolution of genetic trade-offs.

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