The effects of concanavalin A and ricin (RCAII, Mr 65,000) on [3H]thymidine incorporation into human neuroblastoma IMR-32 DNA showed reduction of total DNA synthesis to 50% and 70% of control, respectively. Two DNA polymerase (DNA nucleotidyltransferase, EC 18.104.22.168.) activities (alpha and beta) involved in the biosynthesis in vitro of DNA were separated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation from IMR-32 cell homogenate. The DNA polymerase alpha activity was also purified by selective precipitation with polyethylene glycol (Mr 6000) followed by agarose-concanavalin A column chromatography. The activities of both DNA polymerases were examined at various concentrations of mutagenic and nonmutagenic plant agglutinins and the toxin ricin. Concanavalin A and ricin specifically inhibited DNA polymerase alpha activity (activity reduced to 19% and 10%, respectively), whereas DNA polymerase beta activity was inhibited (reduced to 16%) by red kidney bean agglutinin (PHA-P).