A fatty acid auxotroph of Caulobacter crescentus, AE6001, which displays a strict requirement for unsaturated fatty acids to grow on glucose as the carbon source has been isolated. Starvation of AE6001 for unsaturated fatty acids resulted in a block in the cell cycle. Starved cultures accumulated at the predivisional cell stage after a round of DNA replication had been completed and after a flagellum had been assembled at the pole of the cell. Cell division and cell growth failed to occur probably because the mutant was unable to synthesize a membrane. An analysis of double mutants containing the fatB503 allele and other mutations in membrane biogenesis demonstrated that the cell cycle of AE6001 blocked at a homeostatic state. The addition of oleic acid to starved cultures permitted cell division and the initiation of a new round of DNA replication. The coincident block in both the initiation of DNA replication and membrane assembly, exhibited by starved cultures of this mutant, suggests that the fatB503 gene product may be involved in the coordination of these events.