Plant Lectins (Phytohemagglutinins)

  • Heinrich Kauss
Part of the Progress in Botany / Fortschritte der Botanik book series (BOTANY, volume 38)


It was already recognized at the end of the last century that proteins in extracts of certain plants are able to agglutinate red blood cells. For a long time this potency has been regarded as a curiosity only. Retrospectively however, it can be said that studies with the respective proteins were landmarks in the elucitation of the basic mechanisms of immunology (for the early history of lectins see: SHARON and LIS, 1). For a while the agglutinating plant proteins were referred to as “phytohemagglutinins”. When proteins also exhibiting hemagglutination activity were isolated from animals, BOYD proposed the more general term “lectin” which now is widely in use.


Plant Lectin Lectin Activity Opposite Mating Type Carbohydrate Binding Protein Bean Hypocotyl 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich Kauss
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich Biologie der Universität KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany

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