Catharanthus roseus hairy root cultures, genetically transformed with Agrobacterium rhizogenes, produce a wide variety of indole alkaloids. The effect of sucrose, phosphate, nitrate, and ammonia concentrations on growth and indole alkaloid production of C. roseus hairy root cultures were studied by using statistical experimental designs and linear regression analysis. Contradictory effects of these nutrients on growth and indole alkaloid production were found. The maximal growth was obtained by having 77. 8 mg NaH2PO4 · H2O/L and 1. 311 g KNO3/L in the medium, whereas the specific production of alkaloids was highest at the lowest levels of all the nutrients studied. The maximal dry weight was obtained with high values of sucrose and ammonia, but clear optimum concentrations could not be found. When having enough nutrients to support reasonable growth, it appeared difficult to affect the specific alkaloid production rates considerably. The growth (dry wt.) with the optimized nutrient concentrations in the medium was more than 50% better than in the control medium with about the same alkaloid production.