The deduced translation product of an open reading frame on the left arm of chromosome XVI of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with the systematic name of YPL061w, is 500 amino acids in length and shares significant homology with aldehyde dehydrogenases. Amino acids 2 to 16 of the protein encoded by YPL061w were found to be identical to the N-terminal 15 amino acids of the purified cytosolic, Mg(2+)-activated acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ACDH) of S. cerevisiae. This enzyme is thought to be involved in the production of acetate from which cytosolic acetyl-CoA is then synthesized. Deletion of YPL061w was detrimental to the growth of haploid strains of yeast; an analysis of one deletion mutant revealed a maximum specific growth rate (in complex medium containing glucose) of one-third of that displayed by the wild-type strain. Mutants deleted in YPL061w were also unable to use ethanol as a carbon source. As expected, the cytosolic, Mg(2+)-activated ACDH activity had been lost from the mutants, although the mitochondrial, K(+)-activated ACDH was readily detected.