An efficient, eight-step synthesis of L-rhodinosyl acetate derivative 3 is described. The synthesis originates from methyl (S)-lactate and involves a highly stereoselective, chelate-controlled addition of allyltributylstannane to the lactaldehyde derivative 7. The beta-anomeric configuration of 3 was established with high selectivity by acetylation of the pyranose precursor with Ac(2)O and Et(3)N in CH(2)Cl(2). Preliminary studies of glycosidation reactions of 3 and L-rhodinosyl acetate 10 containing a 3-O-TES ether revealed that these compounds are highly reactive glycosidating agents and that trialkylsilyl triflates are effective glycosylation promoters. The best conditions for reactions with 15 as the acceptor involved use of diethyl ether as the reaction solvent and 0.2 equiv of TES-OTf at -78 degrees C. However, the TES ether protecting group of 10 proved to be too labile under these reaction conditions, and mixtures of 16a, 17, and 18a are obtained in reactions of 10 and 15. Disaccharide 17 arises via in situ cleavage of the TES ether of disaccharide 16a, while trisaccharide 18a results from a glycosidation of in situ generated 17 (or of 16a itself) with a second equivalent of 10. These problems were largely suppressed by using 3 with a 3-O-TBS ether protecting group as the glycosyl donor and 0.2 equiv of TES-OTf as the reaction promoter. Attempts to selectively glycosylate the C(3)-OH of diol acceptors 20 or 28 gave a 70:30 mixture of 21 and 22 in the reaction of 20 and a 43:27:30 mixture of regioisomeric trisaccharides 29 and 30 and tetrasaccharide 31 from the glycosidation reaction of 28. However, excellent results were obtained in the glycosidation of differentially protected disaccharide 34 using 1.5 equiv of 3 and 0.05 equiv of TBS-OTf in CH(2)Cl(2) at -78 degrees C. The latter step is an important transformation in the recently reported synthesis of the landomycin A hexasaccharide unit.