MyD88 is an adapter protein in the signal transduction pathway mediated by interleukin-1 (IL-1) and Toll-like receptors. A Drosophila homologue of MyD88 (DmMyD88) was recently shown to be required for the Toll-mediated immune response. In Drosophila, the Toll pathway was originally characterized for its role in the dorsoventral patterning of the embryo. We found that, like Toll, DmMyD88 messenger RNA is maternally supplied to the embryo. Here we report the identification of a new mutant allele of DmMyD88, which generates a protein lacking the carboxy-terminal extension, normally located downstream of the Toll/IL-1 receptor domain. Homozygous mutant female flies lay dorsalized embryos that are rescued by expression of a transgenic DmMyD88 complementary DNA. The DmMyD88 mutation blocks the ventralizing activity of a gain-of-function Toll mutation. These results show that DmMyD88 encodes an essential component of the Toll pathway in dorsoventral pattern formation.