We have characterized an Arabidopsis receptor-like serine/threonine kinase gene, Ath.lecRK1 (Arabidopsis thaliana lectin-receptor kinase), defining a new and putatively important class of plant receptor kinases. Structural features of the predicted polypeptide include an amino-terminal membrane-targeting signal sequence, a legume lectin-like extracellular domain, a single membrane-spanning domain, and a characteristic serine/threonine protein kinase domain. A recombinant protein containing the kinase domain can be autophosphorylated on a serine residue. Ath.lecRK1 is a member of a gene family of at least two closely related genes. Northern blot analysis indicates that the Ath.lecRK1 gene is weakly expressed in a variety of organs and is regulated in Arabidopsis cell suspension cultures according to the growth phase of cells. The role this new class of plant receptor kinase could play is discussed with regard to the transduction of oligosaccharide and plant hormone signals.