Renewing tissues in the adult organism such as the gastrointestinal (GI) epithelium depend on stem cells for epithelial maintenance and repair. Yet, little is known about the developmental origins of adult stem cells and their niches. Studies of Drosophila adult midgut precursors (AMPs), a population of endodermal progenitors, demonstrate that adult intestinal stem cells (ISCs) arise from the AMP lineage and provide insight into the stepwise process by which the adult midgut epithelium is established during development. Here, I review the current literature on AMPs, where local, inductive and long-range humoral signals have been found to control progenitor cell behavior. Future studies will be necessary to determine the precise mechanism by which adult intestinal stem cells are established in the endodermal lineage. Developmental Dynamics 241:85–91, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.