The production of extracellular xylanase by a newly isolated thermophilic fungus, Paecilomyces themophila J18, on the lignocellulosic materials was studied in solid-state fermentation (SSF). The strain grew well at 50 degrees C and produced a high-level of xylanase activity using the selected lignocellulosic materials, especially wheat straw. Production of xylanase by P. themophila J18 on wheat straw was enhanced by optimizing the particle size of wheat straw, nitrogen source, initial moisture level, growth temperature and initial pH of the culture medium. Under the optimized conditions, yield as high as 18,580 Ug(-1) of carbon source of xylanase was achieved. No CMCase activity was observed. The xylanase exhibited remarkable stability and retained more than 50% of its original activity at 70 degrees C for 4h at pH 7.0-8.0. Therefore, P. themophila J18 could to be a promising microorganism for thermostable, cellulase-free xylanase production in SSF.