Abstract Binding of the Hydrophobic ligands 1,8-anilinonaphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS) and 2,6-toluidinylnaphthalenesulfonic acid (TNS) to a variety of plant lectins was studied by lectin-induced alteration of the fluorescence spectra of the two ligands. With one exception, all legume lectins examined bound ANS, with affinity constants ranging from 10 3 to 10 4 M −1. Similar ANS binding was noted for some nonlegume lectins. Titration of the five isolectins from Phaseolus vulgaris with ANS indicated positive cooperative binding of ANS to the two isolectins E 4 and E 3L 1. Titrations with TNS revealed high-affinity sites for this ligand in a number of lectins. Addition of haptenic sugars did not inhibit binding of ANS, suggesting that the hydrophobic binding sites of lectins are independent of the carbohydrate binding sites.