In order to distinguish between two photosystem II proteins with apparent molecular weights of about 32 kDa, mild extraction procedures were used to remove several thylakoid membrane components. A 32-kDa protein that stained intensely with Coomassie brilliant blue could be extracted from the thylakoid membranes without removing the 32-kDa herbicide receptor protein, which stained poorly with Coomassie brilliant blue. The nonextracted protein was readily detectable after in vivo polypeptide labeling with [35S]methionine or after in vitro covalent tagging with [14C]azidoatrazine. The procedures used to extract the intensely stained, 32-kDa polypeptide resulted in changes in herbicide-binding characteristics, presumably due to conformational changes in the herbicide-binding environment. Alterations of membrane surface charge by protein phosphorylation also influenced herbicide binding.