The lectin peanut agglutinin (PNA) was used to study the surface carbohydrate expression of galactose ß 1, 3, N-acetylgalactosamine by normal and malignant hemopoietic cells. Immunostaining was performed using biotinylated PNA and a streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase staining technique on 78 patients. The study was undertaken to enlarge on previous reports of lectin binding to cells of hemopoietic origin and to establish the potential role of biotinylated PNA as a component of an immunotoxin for in vitro purging of bone marrow in patients with multiple myeloma. In normals only monocytes, macrophages, centroblasts and plasma cells showed reactivity. Of the hematological malignancies, all cases of multiple myeloma were positive and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases with a large cell component had positive centroblasts. Two of 5 cases of acute myelomonocytic leukemia, one case of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and one case of pleomorphic T cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma showed PNA positive neoplastic cells. The reactivity of biotinylated PNA with centroblasts and plasma cells suggests that it may be of potential value when linked to a streptavidin-ricin conjugate in the in vitro purging of bone marrow of patients with multiple myeloma prior to autologous bone marrow transplantation.