The mechanisms by which germline stem cells (GSCs) in the Drosophila testis undergo asymmetric division to regenerate a stem cell as well as a daughter (gonialblast) that will only undergo a further four mitotic divisions prior to entering premeiotic S phase and differentiating into a cyst of spermatocytes are not fully resolved. Here we demonstrate that the HOW RNA-binding protein is required for maintenance of CycB and therefore mitotic progression in GSCs and gonialblasts as well as determining the timing of the spermatogonial divisions. HOW is normally expressed in a complementary pattern to Bam in the germline and bam mRNA is bound by HOW in vivo. Ectopic expression of the HOW(L) isoform is associated with a delay in accumulation of Bam to the level required for differentiation, resulting in extra mitotic divisions. Spatiotemporal regulation of HOW expression is therefore required to specify the four spermatogonial transit-amplifying divisions. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.