Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) regulates the posttranscriptional fate of RNA during development. Drosophila hnRNP A1, Hrp38, is required for germ line stem cell maintenance and oocyte localization. The mRNA targets regulated by Hrp38 are mostly unknown. We identified 428 Hrp38-associated gene transcripts in the fly ovary, including mRNA of the translational repressor Nanos. We found that Hrp38 binds to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of Nanos mRNA, which contains a translation control element. We have demonstrated that translation of the luciferase reporter bearing the Nanos 3' UTR is enhanced by dsRNA-mediated Hrp38 knockdown as well as by mutating potential Hrp38-binding sites. Our data show that poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation inhibits Hrp38 binding to the Nanos 3' UTR, increasing the translation in vivo and in vitro hrp38 and Parg null mutants showed an increased ectopic Nanos translation early in the embryo. We conclude that Hrp38 represses Nanos translation, whereas its poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation relieves the repression effect, allowing restricted Nanos expression in the posterior germ plasm during oogenesis and early embryogenesis.