The structure of the O-antigen chain of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Rhizobium trifolii 4s has been determined by a combination of chemical and spectroscopic methods. The glycosyl components were found to be L-rhamnose, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, and N-acetyl-D-mannosamine in 3:1:1 molar proportion, as determined by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of alditol acetate and persilylated (R)-2-hydroxybutyl glycoside derivatives. The linkage positions and configurations of the glycosyl residues were obtained by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. The polymer has a pentasaccharide repeating-unit containing rhammose and N-acetylglucosamine in the main chain and N-acetylmannosamine as the sole-side chain component. This latter residue is linked to a main-chain rhamnose residue. This result was suggested by NMR spectroscopy and confirmed by periodate oxidation. The sequence was deduced by 1D and 2D NMR NOE experiments and by partial hydrolysis studies. The repeating unit of the polysaccharide is shown. This constitutes the first complete structure of an O-antigenic chain of the lipopolysaccharide of any strain of Rhizobium trifolii.