Background: Tightly regulated pathways maintain the balance between proliferation and differentiation within stem cell populations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the germline is the only tissue that is maintained by stem-like cells into adulthood. In the current study, we investigated the role played by a member of the Homeodomain interacting protein kinase (HIPK) family of serine/threonine kinases, HPK-1, in the development and maintenance of the C. elegans germline. Results: We report that HPK-1 is required for promotion of germline proliferation during development and into adulthood. Additionally, we show that HPK-1 is required in the soma for regulation of germline proliferation. We also show that HPK-1 is a predominantly nuclear protein expressed in several somatic tissues including germline-interacting somatic cells. Conclusions: Our observations are consistent with a conserved role for HIPKs in the control of cellular proliferation and identify a new context for such control in germ cell proliferation. Developmental Dynamics, 2013. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.