Complexes of soybean agglutinin (SBA) with galactose (Gal) and N-acetyl galactosamine (GalNAc) have been modeled based on its homology to erythrina corallodendron (EcorL) lectin. The three dimensional structure of SBA-Gal modeled with homology techniques agrees well with SBA-(beta-LacNAc)2Gal-R complex determined by X-ray crystallographic techniques at the beta-sheet regions and the regions where Ca2+ and Mn2+ ions bind. However, significant deviations have been observed between the modeled and the X-ray structures, particularly at the loop regions where the polypeptide chain could not be unequivocally traced in the X-ray structure. The hydrogen bonding scheme, predicted from the homology model, shows that the invariant residues i.e. Asp, Gly, Asn, and aromatic residues (Phe) found in all other legume lectins, bind Gal, slightly in a different way than reported in X-ray structure of SBA-pentasaccharide complex. The higher binding affinity of GalNAc over Gal to SBA is due to additional hydrophobic interactions with Tyr107 rather than a hydrogen bond between N-acetamide group of the sugar and the side chain of Asp88 as suggested from X-ray crystal structure studies. Our modeling also suggest that the variation in the length of the loop D observed among galactose binding legume lectins may not have any effect on the binding of sugar at the monosaccharide specific site of the lectins. Soybean agglutinin (SBA) is a member of the leguminous family of lectins. They generally possess a single carbohydrate binding site, besides the tightly bound Ca2+ and Mn2+ ions which are required for their carbohydrate binding activity. They possess a high degree of sequence homology and about 50% of the amino acid residues are invariant. Some of these invariant amino acid residues are involved in the binding of sugar moieties and in metal ion coordination. X-ray crystallographic studies showed that their three-dimensional structures are very similar, though they differ in their carbohydrate binding specificity (1-6). Three of the invariant residues Asp, Gly, and Asn, besides an aromatic residue (Phe or Tyr), are involved in carbohydrate binding. Independent of their sugar specificity, these four residues in legume lectins provide the basic frame for the sugar to bind.