pebble (pbl) is required for cytokinesis during postblastoderm mitoses (Hime, G., Saint, R., 1992. Zygotic expression of the pebble locus is required for cytokinesis during the postblastoderm mitoses of Drosophila. Development 114, 165-171; Lehner, C.F., 1992. The pebble gene is required for cytokinesis in Drosophila. J. Cell Sci. 103, 1021-1030) and encodes a putative guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) for Rho1 GTPase (Prokopenko, S.N., Brumby, A., O'Keefe, L., Prior, L., He, Y., Saint, R., Bellen, H.J., 1999. A putative exchange factor for Rho1 GTPase is required for initiation of cytokinesis in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 13, 2301-2314). Mutations in pbl result in the absence of a contractile ring leading to a failure of cytokinesis and formation of polyploid multinucleate cells. Analysis of the subcellular distribution of PBL demonstrated that during mitosis, PBL accumulates at the cleavage furrow at the anaphase to telophase transition when assembly of a contractile ring is initiated (Prokopenko, S.N., Brumby, A., O'Keefe, L., Prior, L., He, Y., Saint, R., Bellen, H.J., 1999. A putative exchange factor for Rho1 GTPase is required for initiation of cytokinesis in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 13, 2301-2314). In addition, levels of PBL protein cycle during each round of cell division with the highest levels of PBL found in telophase and interphase nuclei. Here, we report the expression pattern of pbl during embryonic development. We show that PEBBLE RNA and PBL protein have a similar tissue distribution and are expressed in a highly dynamic pattern throughout embryogenesis. We show that PBL is strongly enriched in dividing nuclei in syncytial embryos and in pole cells as well as in nuclei of dividing cells in postblastoderm embryos. Our expression data correlate well with the phenotypes observed in pole cells and, particularly, with the absence of cytokinesis after cellular blastoderm formation in pbl mutants.