Some of the more common substructures of lignin, catechol diethers, alkylarenes, and biphenyls, resemble the chemical structure of many persistent organic compounds contaminating the environment. The remarkable similarity in structure led several investigators to research the applicability of a white rot fungus, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, to the biodegradation of hazardous waste constituents. The Hazardous Waste Engineering Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has funded research to determine the feasibility of using P. chrysosporium to degrade organic pollutants. The white rot fungus research continues to stimulate interest and shows promise for field applications. The parts of the research program sponsored by the Hazardous Waste Engineering Research Laboratory are starting to develop major advances in the emerging biological control technology field.