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Science 343 (6170): 536-540

Copyright © 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Mating Induces Shrinking and Death in Caenorhabditis Mothers

Cheng Shi, and Coleen T. Murphy*

Abstract: Interactions between the germ line and the soma help optimize reproductive success. We discovered a phenomenon linking reproductive status to longevity: In both hermaphroditic and gonochoristic Caenorhabditis, mating leads to female shrinking and death, compressing postreproductive life span. Male sperm induces germline- and DAF-9/DAF-12–dependent shrinking, osmotic stress susceptibility, and subsequent life-span decrease, whereas seminal fluid induces DAF-16–dependent life-span decrease and fat loss. Our study provides insight into the communication between males and the female germ line and soma to regulate reproduction and longevity, revealing a high-reproduction, low–life-span state induced by mating. Postmating somatic collapse may be an example of the sexually antagonistic influence that males in many species exert on female behavior to maximize their own reproductive success.

Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: ctmurphy{at}princeton.edu


THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:
Chemical Warfare in the Battle of the Sexes.
D. E. L. Promislow and M. Kaeberlein (2014)
Science 343, 491-492
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