N-Glycans in nearly all eukaryotes are derived by transfer of a precursor Glc(3)Man(9)GlcNAc(2) from dolichol (Dol) to consensus Asn residues in nascent proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae alg (asparagine-linked glycosylation) mutants fail to synthesize oligosaccharide-lipid properly, and the alg9 mutant, accumulates Man(6)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol. High-field (1)H NMR and methylation analyses of Man(6)GlcNAc(2) released with peptide-N-glycosidase F from invertase secreted by Deltaalg9 yeast showed its structure to be Manalpha1,2Manalpha1,2Manalpha1, 3(Manalpha1,3Manalpha1,6)-Manbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1, 4GlcNAcalpha/beta, confirming the addition of the alpha1,3-linked Man to Man(5)GlcNAc(2)-PP-Dol prior to the addition of the final upper-arm alpha1,6-linked Man. This Man(6)GlcNAc(2) is the endoglycosidase H-sensitive product of the Alg3p step. The Deltaalg9 Hex(7-10)GlcNAc(2) elongation intermediates were released from invertase and similarly analyzed. When compared with alg3 sec18 and wild-type core mannans, Deltaalg9 N-glycans reveal a regulatory role for the Alg3p-dependent alpha1,3-linked Man in subsequent oligosaccharide-lipid and glycoprotein glycan maturation. The presence of this Man appears to provide structural information potentiating the downstream action of the endoplasmic reticulum glucosyltransferases Alg6p, Alg8p and Alg10p, glucosidases Gls1p and Gls2p, and the Golgi Och1p outerchain alpha1,6-Man branch-initiating mannosyltransferase.