Owing to its specific binding to carbohydrates, lectins play important roles in pathogen recognition and clearance in invertebrate animals. In this study, a novel C-type lectin (designated CLHd) gene was isolated from abalone, Haliotis discus discus, cDNA library. The complete cDNA sequence of the CLHd gene is 508 base pairs in length, and encodes 151 amino acids. CLHd shares a highly conserved carbohydrate recognition domain with C-type lectins from mollusk and fish. The mRNA expressions of CLHd in healthy and bacterial-challenged abalones were examined using semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). CLHd mRNA transcription was up-regulated by Vibrio alginolyticus challenge and reached the maximum expression at 24h after the bacterial injection. To understand its biological activity, the recombinant CLHd gene was constructed and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant CLHd specifically agglutinated V. alginolyticus at a concentration of 50microg/ml in a calcium-dependant way. Both the gene expression analysis and recombinant protein activity assay suggest that CLHd is an important immune gene involved in the recognition and elimination of pathogens in abalones.