The ability of three Streptomyces strains to degrade alkali-lignin, produced from the treatment of wheat straw by the same organisms, was examined. Decolourisation and loss of alkali-lignin was only detected in cultures supplemented with ammonium as an inorganic N source. The pH of cultures supplemented with inorganic N reached lower pH than in those supplemented with yeast extract. From FT-IR spectra corresponding to the alkali-lignin obtained from the same cultures, a degradation of carbohydrate component concomitant with a modification in the aromatic moiety of lignin could be inferred. The results indicate that streptomycetes are suitable for use in the treatment of alkali-lignin effluents from the biological treatment of wheat straw by the same organisms and therefore support the role for these organisms in the development of clean technologies in pulp and paper industry.