Drosophila encodes five muscle and one cytoskeletal isoform of the actin-binding protein tropomyosin. We have identified a lack-of-function mutation in the cytoskeletal isoform (cTmII). Zygotic mutant embryos show a defect in head morphogenesis, while embryos lacking maternal cTmII are defective in germ cell formation but otherwise give rise to viable adults. oskar mRNA, which is required for both germ cell formation and abdominal segmentation, fails to accumulate at the posterior pole in these embryos. nanos mRNA, however, which is required exclusively for abdominal segmentation, is localized at wild-type levels. These results indicate that head morphogenesis and the accumulation of high levels of oskar mRNA necessary for germ cell formation require tropomyosin-dependent cytoskeleton.