The single gene Le1, coding for soybean seed lectin, was compared to le1, a naturally occurring mutant allele containing a 3.4 kb insertion within its coding region. Le1 is devoid of introns and produces a 1.0 kb mRNA. It codes for a signal sequence of 32 amino acids and a mature protein of 253 amino acids. With the exception of six single-base substitutions, the coding and flanking sequences in le1 are identical with those in the uninterrupted gene. The insertion termini are imperfect inverted repeats flanked by a 3 bp duplication of lectin target DNA. Inverted repeats within the lectin gene are located symmetrically with respect to the insertion site and are homologous to a region of the insertion termini. These molecular traits conform with the structural aspects of transposable elements in other organisms and imply some degree of site specificity.