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(Science: plant biology) proteins obtained particularly from the seeds of leguminous plants, but also from many other plant and animal sources, that have binding sites for specific mono or oligosaccharides in cell walls or membranes. They thereby change the physiology of the membrane to cause agglutination, mitosis, or other biochemical changes in the cell.

Named originally for the ability of some to selectively agglutinate human red blood cells of particular blood groups. Lectins such as concanavalin a and wheat germ agglutinin are widely used as analytical and preparative agents in the study of glycoproteins.

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