The phosphatidylinositol pathway is implicated in the regulation of numerous cellular functions and responses to extracellular signals. An important branching point in the pathway is the phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate by the phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K) to generate the second messenger phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bis-phosphate (PIP2). PIP5K and PIP2 have been implicated in signal transduction, cytoskeletal regulation, DNA synthesis, and vesicular trafficking. We have cloned and generated mutations in a Drosophila PIP5K type I (skittles). Our analysis indicates that skittles is required for cell viability, germline development, and the proper structural development of sensory bristles. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for PIP5KI involvement in neural secretion.