Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling is a critical regulator of somatic growth during fetal and adult development, primarily through its stimulatory effects on cell proliferation and survival. IGF signaling is also required for development of the reproductive system, although its precise role in this regard remains unclear. We have hypothesized that IGF signaling is required for embryonic germline development, which requires the specification and proliferation of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in an extragonadal location, followed by directed migration to the genital ridges. We tested this hypothesis using loss-of-function studies in the zebrafish embryo, which possesses two functional copies of the Type-1 IGF receptor gene (igf1ra, igf1rb). Knockdown of IGF1Rb by morpholino oligonucleotides (MO) results in mismigration and elimination of primordial germ cells (PGCs), resulting in fewer PGCs colonizing the genital ridges. In contrast, knockdown of IGF1Ra has no effect on PGC migration or number despite inducing widespread somatic cell apoptosis. Ablation of both receptors, using combined MO injections or overexpression of a dominant-negative IGF1R, yields embryos with a PGC-deficient phenotype similar to IGF1Rb knockdown. TUNEL analyses revealed that mismigrated PGCs in IGF1Rb-deficient embryos are eliminated by apoptosis; overexpression of an antiapoptotic gene (Bcl2l) rescues ectopic PGCs from apoptosis but fails to rescue migration defects. Lastly, we show that suppression of IGF signaling leads to quantitative changes in the expression of genes encoding CXCL-family chemokine ligands and receptors involved in PGC migration. Collectively, these data suggest a novel role for IGF signaling in early germline development, potentially via cross-talk with chemokine signaling pathways.