The molecular mechanisms of cellular long-chain fatty acid assimilation and its regulation remain unclear. In an attempt to identify essential mediators of these processes, we have isolated mutant strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae unable to utilize oleic acid as sole carbon source, while retaining the ability to utilize acetate. These strains are then subjected to several secondary screening assays to identify mutants of interest. Here we describe a mutant (denoted fat21) that, despite a temperature-sensitive inability to utilize oleic acid as sole carbon source, displays no general defect in oleic acid uptake or incorporation of oleic acid into glycerolipids. Oxidation of acetate after growth in acetate medium is increased similarly in the mutant and parent strains. Oleic acid beta-oxidation in acetate grown cells is also comparable between strains. Induction of oleic acid oxidation following exposure to oleic acid is, however, defective in the fat21 mutant. The fat21 mutant allele displays conditional synthetic lethality in combination with a null allele of the OLE1 gene, which encodes Delta9-desaturase and is required for proper mitochondrial segregation. Clones capable of complementing the fat21 defect contained the RML2 gene, encoding a yeast mitochondria ribosomal protein. Segregation analysis and gene replacement experiments demonstrate that RML2 is the gene defective in the fat21 mutant. These observations of a defect in a mitochondrial protein differentially affecting the adaptation to oleic acid and acetate as carbon sources suggest that the phenotype of fat21 is associated with a novel pathway of mitochondrial-nuclear-peroxisomal communication.