Mechanistic differences in the development and function of adaptive, high-affinity antibody-producing B-2 cells and innate-like, “natural” antibody-producing B-1a cells remain poorly understood. Here we show that the multi-functional dynein light chain (DYNLL1/LC8) plays important roles in the establishment of B-1a cells in the peritoneal cavity and in the ongoing development of B-2 lymphoid cells in the bone marrow of mice. Epistasis analyses indicate that Dynll1 regulates B-1a and early B-2 cell development in a single, linear pathway with its direct transcriptional activator ASCIZ (ATMIN/ZNF822), and that the two genes also have complementary functions during late B-2 cell development. The B-2 cell defects caused by loss of DYNLL1 were associated with lower levels of the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2, and could be supressed by deletion of pro-apoptotic BIM which is negatively regulated by both DYNLL1 and BCL-2. Defects in B cell development caused by loss of DYNLL1 could also be partially suppressed by a pre-arranged SWHELIgm-B cell receptor transgene. In contrast to the rescue of B-2 cell numbers, the B-1a cell deficiency in Dynll1-deleted mice could not be suppressed by the loss of Bim, and was further compounded by the SWHELtransgene. Conversely, oncogenic MYC expression, which is synthetic lethal with Dynll1 deletion in B-2 cells, did not further reduce B-1a cell numbers in Dynll1-defcient mice. Finally, we found that the ASCIZ-DYNLL1 axis was also required for the early-juvenile development of aggressive MYC-driven and p53-deficient B cell lymphomas. These results identify ASCIZ and DYNLL1 as the core of a transcriptional circuit that differentially regulates the development of the B-1a and B-2 B lymphoid cell lineages and plays a critical role in lymphomagenesis.