Janja Zajc*, Anja Cernosa, Alessandra Di Francesco, Raffaello Castoria, Filippo De Curtis, Giuseppe Lima, Hanene Badri, Haissam Jijakli, Antonio Ippolito, Cene Gostincar, Polona Zalar, Nina Gunde-Cimerman, Wojciech J. JanisiewiczThe "yeast-like" fungus, Aureobasidium pullulans, isolated from fruit and leaves exhibits strong biocontrol activity against postharvest decays on various fruit. Some strains were even developed into commercial products. We obtained 20 of these strains and investigated their characteristics related to biocontrol. Phylogenetic analyses based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the D1/D2 domains of rRNA 28S gene regions confirmed that all the strains are most closely related to A. pullulans species. All strains grew at 0°C, which is very important to control decay at low storage temperature, and none grew at 37°C, which eliminates concern for human safety. Eighteen strains survived 2 hrs exposures to 50°C and two strains even survived for 24 hrs. Salt-tolerance varied; however, all strains grew on medium with 14% NaCl and 14 even with 18% NaCl. Such tolerances to high temperature and elevated salinity enable compatibility with postharvest practices. Substantial differences were observed in enzymatic activity, especially with respect to production of chitinases, xylanase, or urease. Siderophore production was detected and the ability to form biofilm varied widely between the strains. Knowledge of common characteristics of these strains may be very useful in future selection of the best antagonists within this species.