Myc proteins are essential regulators of cellular growth and proliferation during normal development. Activating mutations in myc genes result in excessive growth and are frequently associated with human cancers. At the same time, forced expression of Myc sensitizes vertebrate cells towards different pro-apoptotic stimuli. Recently, the ability of overexpressed Myc to induce cell-autonomous apoptosis has been shown to be evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila Myc (dMyc). Here, we show that dMyc induced apoptosis is accompanied by the induction of Drosophila p53 mRNA, but that dp53 activity is not essential for dMyc's ability to induce apoptosis. Conversely, larvae carrying a hypomorphic dmyc mutation are more resistant to the apoptosis-promoting effects of X-irradiation. These data suggest that the control of apoptosis is a physiological function of Myc and that dMyc might play a role in the response to DNA damage.