This study identifies genes that determine length of lag phase, using the model eukaryotic organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We report growth of a yeast deletion series following variations in the lag phase induced by variable storage times after drying-down yeast on filters. Using a homozygous diploid deletion pool, lag times ranging from 0 h to 90 h were associated with increased drop-out of mitochondrial genes and increased survival of nuclear genes. Simple linear regression (R2 analysis) shows that there are over 500 genes for which > 70% of the variation can be explained by lag alone. In the genes with a positive correlation, such that the gene abundance increases with lag and hence the deletion strain is suitable for survival during prolonged storage, there is a strong predominance of nucleonic genes. In the genes with a negative correlation, such that the gene abundance decreases with lag and hence the strain may be critical for getting yeast out of the lag phase, there is a strong predominance of glycoproteins and transmembrane proteins. This study identifies yeast deletion strains with survival advantage on prolonged storage and amplifies our understanding of the genes critical for getting out of the lag phase.