Laccase is among the major enzymes of white rot fungi involved in lignocellulose degradation. The present paper reports its production by two white rot fungi (Coriolus versicolor, Funalia trogii) under different nutritional conditions. Various synthetic culture media and natural culture medium (molasses wastewater) were tested. Enzyme production in various synthetic culture media, molasses wastewater (vinasse) culture medium and in the absence or presence of cotton stalk supplements showed that vinasse culture medium was a better laccase-inducer medium than the synthetic culture medium. Addition of cotton stalk to various media enhanced the enzyme production. The highest laccase activity was obtained in vinasse culture medium with cotton stalk. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.