Lead has been used as a substitute for calcium binding to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). The high atomic number of lead has allowed us to use difference maps from X-ray fiber diffraction data to characterize a calcium-binding site in the virus. The metal ligands are slightly different from those previously believed to bind calcium to TMV, although the binding site is very close to one previously described. Two acetate groups are also bound to the lead atom. There is no significant backbone conformational change in the protein as a result of metal binding; the binding is accomplished by means of relatively small movements in amino acid side chains.