We have identified a second cdc25 homolog in Drosophila. In contrast to string (the first homolog identified in Drosophila) this second homolog, twine, does not function in the mitotic cell cycle, but is specialized for meiosis. Expression of twine was observed exclusively in male and female gonads. twine transcripts are present in germ cells during meiosis, and appear only late during gametogenesis, well after the end of the mitotic germ cell divisions. The sterile Drosophila mutant, mat(2)synHB5, which had previously been isolated and mapped to the same genomic region as twine (35F), was found to carry a missense mutation in the twine gene. This missense mutation in twine abolished its ability to complement a mutation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe cdc25. Phenotypic analysis of mat(2)synHB5 mutant flies revealed a complete block of meiosis in males and severe meiotic defects in females.