We have previously reported that cells of Dictyostelium discoideum lacking the fatty acid oxidation enzyme MFE1 accumulate excess cyclopropane fatty acids from ingested bacteria. Cells in which mfeA(-) is disrupted fail to develop when grown in association with bacteria but form normal fruiting bodies when grown in axenic media. Bacterially grown mfeA(-) cells express the genes for the cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor (carA) and adenylyl cyclase (acaA) but fail to respond to a cAMP pulse by synthesis of additional cAMP which normally relays the signal. Moreover, they do not accumulate the adhesion protein, gp80, which is encoded by the cAMP-induced gene, csaA. As a consequence, they do not acquire developmentally regulated EDTA-resistant cell-cell adhesion. When mutant cells are mixed with wild-type cells and allowed to develop together, they co-aggregate and differentiate into both spores and stalk cells. Thus, most of the developmental consequences of excess cyclopropane fatty acids appear to result from impaired cAMP relay.