Phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 occurs during mitosis and meiosis in a wide range of eukaryotes and has been shown to be required for proper chromosome transmission in Tetrahymena. Here we report that Ipl1/aurora kinase and its genetically interacting phosphatase, Glc7/PP1, are responsible for the balance of H3 phosphorylation during mitosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans. In these models, both enzymes are required for H3 phosphorylation and chromosome segregation, although a causal link between the two processes has not been demonstrated. Deregulation of human aurora kinases has been implicated in oncogenesis as a consequence of chromosome missegregation. Our findings reveal an enzyme system that regulates chromosome dynamics and controls histone phosphorylation that is conserved among diverse eukaryotes.