The Spt-Ada-Gcn5-acetyltransferase (SAGA) chromatin-modifying complex is a transcriptional coactivator that contains four different modules of subunits. The intact SAGA complex has been well characterized for its function in transcription regulation and development. However, little is known about the roles of individual modules within SAGA and whether they have any SAGA-independent functions. Here we demonstrate that the two enzymatic modules of Drosophila SAGA are differently required in oogenesis. Loss of the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity blocks oogenesis, while loss of the H2B deubiquitinase (DUB) activity does not. However, the DUB module regulates a subset of genes in early embryogenesis, and loss of the DUB subunits causes defects in embryogenesis. ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation ChIP combined with high-throughput sequencing) analysis revealed that both the DUB and HAT modules bind most SAGA target genes even though many of these targets do not require the DUB module for expression. Furthermore, we found that the DUB module can bind to chromatin and regulate transcription independently of the HAT module. Our results suggest that the DUB module has functions within SAGA and independent functions.