In Drosophila embryos, germ cell formation is induced by specialized cytoplasm at the posterior of the egg, the pole plasm. Pole plasm contains polar granules, organelles in which maternally produced molecules required for germ cell formation are assembled. An untranslatable RNA, called Polar granule component (Pgc), was identified and found to be localized in polar granules. Most pole cells in embryos produced by transgenic females expressing antisense Pgc RNA failed to complete migration and to populate the embryonic gonads, and females that developed from these embryos often had agametic ovaries. These results support an essential role for Pgc RNA in germline development.