Malathion treatment of the seeds of Vigna sinensis (L), above 50 ppm decreased the seedling growth and respiration rate; it is accompanied by a significant alteration in the activities of different cell wall associated hydrolytic enzymes in the roots of the 72 hour germinated seeds. On the simultaneous application of either of the plant hormones (IAA or GA3) with different concentrations of malathion, it was found that there was a trend to overcome the malathion-caused inhibition on seedling growth pattern and respiration rate in the roots of the seeds. It was also found that the treatment of the seeds with plant growth hormones, at 100 ppm malathion exposure, helps to restore the normal activities of some cell wall associated hydrolytic enzymes, which showed otherwise significantly altered activities. Above 100 ppm malathion exposure on the seeds, the plant hormones gradually lose their efficiency to counteract the malathion elicited effect on the studied parameters in the roots of the seeds. © 1983, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.