Sterol auxotrophic strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were grown and allowed to conjugate on media supplemented with various sterols. The mating efficiency of the auxotrophs is perturbed by the replacement of the normal yeast sterol, ergosterol, with other sterols. After 4 h of mating, cells grown on ergosterol exhibited a 30-fold higher productive mating efficiency than those cells grown in stigmasterol. Aberrant budding by the conjugants was enhanced following incubation on stigmasterol and other non-ergosterol sterols. Using light and electron microscopy, we demonstrated that there is a reduced ability for stigmasterol-grown cells to undergo cytoplasmic fusion during conjugation. Many of the mated pairs remained adherent but prezygotic even after 12 h of incubation. The addition of ergosterol to cells previously grown on stigmasterol rescued the organisms, allowing for zygote formation and normal budding.