The virus-encoded envelope proteins of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) typically contain 26 to 30 sites for N-linked carbohydrate attachment. N-linked carbohydrate can be of three major types: high mannose, complex, or hybrid. The lectin proteins from Galanthus nivalis (GNA) and Hippeastrum hybrid (HHA), which specifically bind high-mannose carbohydrate, were found to potently inhibit the replication of a pathogenic cloned SIV from rhesus macaques, SIVmac239. Passage of SIVmac239 in the presence of escalating concentrations of GNA and HHA yielded a lectin-resistant virus population that uniformly eliminated three sites (of 26 total) for N-linked carbohydrate attachment (Asn-X-Ser or Asn-X-Thr) in the envelope protein. Two of these sites were in the gp120 surface subunit of the envelope protein (Asn244 and Asn460), and one site was in the envelope gp41 transmembrane protein (Asn625). Maximal resistance to GNA and HHA in a spreading infection was conferred to cloned variants that lacked all three sites in combination. Variant SIV gp120s exhibited dramatically decreased capacity for binding GNA compared to SIVmac239 gp120 in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Purified gp120s from six independent HIV type 1 (HIV-1) isolates and two SIV isolates from chimpanzees (SIVcpz) consistently bound GNA in ELISA at 3- to 10-fold-higher levels than gp120s from five SIV isolates from rhesus macaques or sooty mangabeys (SIVmac/sm) and four HIV-2 isolates. Thus, our data indicate that characteristic high-mannose carbohydrate contents have been retained in the cross-species transmission lineages for SIVcpz-HIV-1 (high), SIVsm-SIVmac (low), and SIVsm-HIV-2 (low).