The lectin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA-IIL) is involved in host recognition and biofilm formation. Lectin not only displays an unusually high affinity for fucose but also binds to L-fucose, L-galactose and D-arabinose that differ only by the group at position 5 of the sugar ring. Isothermal calorimetry experiments provided precise determination of affinity for the three methyl-glycosides and revealed a large enthalpy contribution. The crystal structures of the complexes of PA-IIL with L-galactose and Met-beta-D-arabinoside have been determined and compared with the PA-IIL/fucose complex described previously. A combination of the structures and thermodynamics provided clues for the role of the hydrophobic group in affinity.