This study was undertaken to isolate an ascomycete producing ligninolytic enzyme and characterize its lignin degradation capability. Among 20 isolates, GHJ-4 was isolated from decayed wood of Salix matsudana Koidz in Mount Tai, China, by different indicator compounds assay. The taxonomy of the fungi was Paraconiothyrium variabile Damm, Verkley and Crous, which had been confirmed by both morphological and 5.8S rDNA/ITS analyses. The capability of utilizing several lignin model compounds and decoloration of aromatic dyes by GHJ-4 strain revealed its ligninolytic potentiality. After incubation for 40 days, the weight loss of the wood was 20.91% and lignin loss was 22.99%, which indicated that, GHJ-4 strain had higher degradation ability for lignin. To our best of knowledge, this study represented the first report that P. variabile could produce ligninolytic enzyme and degrade lignin.Key words: Ligninolytic enzyme, ascomycete, identification, lignin degradation.