We report an analysis of 2 yeast cell mutants using biocavity laser spectroscopy. The two yeast strains differed only by the presence or absence of mitochondrial DNA. Strain 104 is a wild-type (ρ+) strain of the baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Strain 110 was derived from strain 104 by removal of its mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Removal of mtDNA causes strain 110 to grow as a "petite" (ρ-), named because it forms small colonies (of fewer cells because it grows more slowly) on agar plates supplemented with a variety of different carbon sources. The absence of mitochondrial DNA results in the complete loss of all the mtDNA-encoded proteins and RNAs, and loss of the pigmented, heme-containing cytochromes a and b. These cells have mitochondria, but the mitochondria lack the normal respiratory chain complexes I, III, IV, and V. Complex II is preserved because its subunits are encoded by genes located in nuclear DNA. The frequency distributions of the peak shifts produced by wild-type and petite cells and mitochondria show striking differences in the symmetry and patterns of the distributions. Wild-type ρ+ cells (104) and mitochondria produced nearly symmetric, Gaussian distributions. The ρ- cells (110) and mitochondria showed striking asymmetry and skew that appeared to follow a Poisson distribution.