The 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (DXP) pathway (non-mevalonate pathway) leading to terpenoids via isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) has been shown to occur in most bacteria and in all higher plants. Treatment with the antibiotic fosmidomycin, a specific inhibitor of DXP reductoisomerase, considerably inhibited the accumulation of the alkaloids ajmalicine, tabersonine, and lochnericine by Catharanthus roseus hairy root cultures in the exponential growth phase. However, fosmidomycin did not significantly affect alkaloid levels in stationary phase hairy root cultures. Feeding with 1-deoxy-D-xylulose, 10-hydroxygeraniol, or loganin resulted in significant increases in alkaloid production by exponential phase hairy root cultures. These results suggest that the DXP pathway is a major provider of carbon for the monoterpenoid pathway leading to the formation of indole alkaloids in C. roseus hairy roots in the exponential phase.