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 bymating. 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.
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