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The effect of exogenously fed hormones on hairy root cultures of Cichorium intybus L. ev. Lucknow Local was studied. It was seen that auxin in the presence of low levels of kinetin induces rapid disorganization in hairy root cultures of C. intybus, ultimately to form suspension cultures, and this process was associated with the decrease in coumarin content in the cells. Of various treatments, it was observed that with an increase in the auxin: cytokinin ratio, the biomass decreased with the increase in disorganization index during the culture period of 28 d. The disorganization index was less when the inoculum size was enhanced to 10-fold. The total endogenous indole-3-acetic acid titers and indole-3-acetic acid oxidase activity also decreased with an increase in disorganization index, and was independent of initial inoculum size, with only a magnitude difference. The total coumarin content strictly correlated with growth in all the treatments. In contrast, exogenously supplied gibberellic acid at the 0.5 mg l−1 level enhanced growth, coumarin content, and branching patterns over the control and other treatments on day 28. The exogenously fed growth regulators had an effect on growth, auxin and coumarin biosyntheses, wherein transformed roots treated with increasing concentration of auxin to cytokinin ratios lost their ability for coumarin biosynthesis. The behavior of hairy roots from an Indian cultivar of chicory upon growth regulator treatment is discussed in terms of growth, coumarin and auxin biosyntheses.