Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Semelparity and Reproductive Death in Caenorhabditis elegans

Version 1 : Received: 30 October 2020 / Approved: 2 November 2020 / Online: 2 November 2020 (10:45:56 CET)

How to cite: Gems, D.; Kern, C.; Nour, J.; Ezcurra, M. Semelparity and Reproductive Death in Caenorhabditis elegans. Preprints 2020, 2020110019 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0019.v1). Gems, D.; Kern, C.; Nour, J.; Ezcurra, M. Semelparity and Reproductive Death in Caenorhabditis elegans. Preprints 2020, 2020110019 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0019.v1).

Abstract

In some species of salmon, reproductive maturity triggers the development of massive pathology resulting from reproductive effort, leading to rapid post-reproductive death. Such reproductive death, which occurs in many semelparous organisms (with a single bout of reproduction), can be prevented by blocking reproductive maturation, and this can increase lifespan dramatically. Reproductive death is often viewed as distinct from senescence in iteroparous organisms (with multiple bouts of reproduction) such as humans. Here we review the evidence that reproductive death occurs in C. elegans and discuss what this means for its use as a model organism to study aging. Inhibiting insulin/IGF-1 signaling and germline removal suppresses reproductive death and greatly extends lifespan in C. elegans, but can also extend lifespan to a small extent in iteroparous organisms. We argue that mechanisms of senescence operative in reproductive death exist in a less catastrophic form in iteroparous organisms, particularly those involving costly resource reallocation, and exhibiting endocrine-regulated plasticity. Thus, mechanisms of senescence in semelparous organisms (including plants) and iteroparous ones form an etiological continuum. Therefore understanding mechanisms of reproductive death in C. elegans can teach us about some mechanisms of senescence that are operative in iteroparous organisms.

Subject Areas

aging; biomass conversion; C. elegans; reproductive death; semelparity; senescent pathology

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