Lignin is a biopolymer found in plant cell walls that accounts for 30% of the organic carbon in the biosphere. White-rot fungi (WRF) are considered the most efficient organisms at degrading lignin in nature. While lignin depolymerization by WRF has been extensively studied, the possibility that WRF are able to utilize lignin as a carbon source is still a matter of controversy. Here, we employ 13 C-isotope labeling, systems biology approaches, and in vitro enzyme assays to demonstrate that two WRF, Trametes versicolor and Gelatoporia subvermispora, funnel carbon from lignin-derived aromatic compounds into central carbon metabolism via intracellular catabolic pathways. These results provide insights into global carbon cycling in soil ecosystems and furthermore establish a foundation for employing WRF in simultaneous lignin depolymerization and bioconversion to bioproducts-a key step toward enabling a sustainable bioeconomy.