A procedure developed to separate the homodimeric and heterodimeric mannose-binding lectins from bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum L.) and ramsons (Allium ursinum L.) also enabled the isolation of stable lectin-alliinase complexes. Characterization of the individual lectins indicated that, in spite of their different molecular structure, the homomeric and heteromeric lectins resemble each other reasonably well with respect to their agglutination properties and carbohydrate-binding specificity. However, a detailed analysis of the lectin-alliinase complexes from garlic and ramsons bulbs demonstrated that only the heterodimeric lectins are capable of binding to the glycan chains of the alliinase molecules (EC 220.127.116.11). Moreover, it appears that only a subpopulation of the alliinase molecules is involved in the formation of lectin-alliinase complexes and that the complexed alliinase contains more glycan chains than the free enzyme. Finally, some arguments are given that the lectin-alliinase complexes do not occur in vivo but are formed in vitro after homogenization of the tissue.