The complement system is a crucial component of the innate immune system that links innate and adaptive immunity via four pathways. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), the initiating molecule of the lectin pathway, plays a significant role in the innate immune system in mammals and fish. Herein, we identified an MBL homolog (gcMBL) in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). The full-length 948 bp gcMBL cDNA includes a 741 bp open reading frame encoding a 246 amino acid protein with a signal peptide, collagen triple helix repeat domain, and a C-type lectin-like/link domain. The gcMBL protein shares low similarity with MBL counterparts in other species, and is most closely related to Cyprinus carpio MBL. Transcription of gcMBL was widely distributed in different tissues, and was induced by Aeromonas hydrophila in vivo and in vitro. Expression of gcMBL was also affected by LPS and flagellin stimulation in vitro. In cells over-expressing gcMBL, transcripts of almost all components except gcC5 were up-regulated, and gcMBL, gcIL1β, gcTNF-α, gcIFN, gcCD59, gcC5aR and gcITGβ-2 were significantly up-regulated following exposure to A. hydrophila or stimulation by bacterial PAMPs. Meanwhile, gcMBL deficiency achieved by RNAi down-regulated transcript levels following A. hydrophila challenge, and gcMBL induced NF-κB signalling. These findings indicate a vital role of gcMBL in innate immunity in grass carp.