14-3-3 proteins have been extensively studied in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals and are associated with multiple roles, including fundamental processes such as the cell cycle, apoptosis and the stress response, to diseases such as cancer. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there are two 14-3-3 genes, ftt-2 and par-5. ftt-2 is expressed only in somatic lineages, whereas par-5 expression is detected in both soma and germline. During early embryonic development, par-5 is necessary to establish cell polarity. Although it is known that par-5 inactivation results in sterility, the role of this gene in germline development is poorly characterized. In the present study, we used a par-5 mutation and RNA interference to characterize par-5 functions in the germline. The lack of par-5 in germ cells caused cell cycle deregulation, the accumulation of endogenous DNA damage and genomic instability. Moreover, par-5 was required for checkpoint-induced cell cycle arrest in response to DNA-damaging agents. We propose a model in which PAR-5 regulates CDK-1 phosphorylation to prevent premature mitotic entry. This study opens a new path to investigate the mechanisms of 14-3-3 functions, which are not only essential for C. elegans development, but have also been shown to be altered in human diseases.