We have measured the content of ribosomes, the rate of synthesis of ribosomal RNA, and the level of the mRNA for ribosomal proteins as a culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae passes through the growth cycle. The transcription of both ribosomal RNA and ribosomal protein genes disappears at an unexpectedly early stage in the growth cycle, accompanied by a decline in the total RNA content of the culture by nearly 50% and a decline in the number of ribosomes per cell to less than 25% of the maximum value. During this time the cells continue to grow through more than two doublings, initially at the normal log growth rate, which then decline gradually for several hours. The data suggest that the cell can sense an unfavorable change within the medium and responds by employing regulation of both synthesis and degradation of its ribosomes. We conclude that the cell regulates ribosome synthesis and content according to its estimate of the potential for growth.