In this study the biotransformation of lignin by-products of beechwood pulping with a soil-inhabiting yeast strain of Trichosporon pullulans was examined. The structural and molecular changes in the lignin during a cultivation process were determined by 13C NMR spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography analysis, which confirmed the ability of the yeast strain tested to biodegrade lignin. Enzymatic analysis showed the presence of lignin peroxidase and Mn(II) peroxidase in the culture supernatant. The ligninolytic activity of both enzymes increased under carbon-depleted conditions. This observation is particularly important in the biodegradation of recalcitrant lignins in soil.