The specificity requirements for the binding of Actinomyces viscosus T14V were examined by testing simple sugars, oligopeptides, and glycoproteins as inhibitors of the aggregation of glycoprotein-coated latex beads and washed A. viscosus cells. Lactose was the most inhibitory simple sugar; D-fucose and D-galactose were equally inhibitory, methyl-alpha-D-fucoside was slightly less inhibitory, and L-fucose and raffinose were not inhibitory. The concentration of galactose residues required for 50% inhibition of aggregation was 15 times higher in the form of lactose than in the form of asialoglycoprotein, suggesting an enhancement of lectin binding when galactose residues are clustered. However, when the inhibitory power of bi-, tri-, and tetraantennary asialooligopeptides of alpha 1-acid glycoprotein was compared with that of equivalent concentrations of galactose in the form of lactose, the biantennary form was slightly less effective than lactose, the triantennary form was approximately as effective as lactose, and the tetraantennary form was slightly more effective than lactose. Steric interference may prevent this type of clustering from enhancing lectin binding. The O-linked asialooligopeptides of asialofetuin were 10 times more inhibitory than an equivalent concentration of galactose in the form of N-linked asialooligopeptides. Thus, galactose beta-1----3 linked to N-acetylgalactosamine exhibits greater specificity for the A. viscosus lectin than does galactose beta-1----4 linked to N-acetylglucosamine. These results, taken together with previously reported data, are consistent with a lectin of low affinity, binding enhanced by multivalency, and specificity for beta-linked galactose.