A new lysozyme (cv-lysozyme 2) with a MALDI molecular mass of 12 984.6 Da was purified from crystalline styles and digestive glands of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and its cDNA sequenced. Quantitative real time RT-PCR detected cv-lysozyme 2 gene expression primarily in digestive gland tissues, and in situ hybridization located cv-lysozyme 2 gene expression in basophil cells of digestive tubules. Cv-lysozyme 2 showed high amino acid sequence similarity to other bivalve mollusk lysozymes, including cv-lysozyme 1, a lysozyme recently purified from C. virginica plasma. Differences between cv-lysozyme 2 and cv-lysozyme 1 molecular characteristics, enzymatic properties, antibacterial activities, distribution in the oyster body and site of gene expression indicate that the main role of cv-lysozyme 2 is in digestion. While showing that a bivalve mollusk employs different lysozymes for different functions, findings in this study suggest adaptive evolution of i type lysozymes for nutrition.