Abstract Isolates of Aureobasidium pullulans which produce antibacterial metabolites were compared with non-antibiotic-producing isolates of Tremella foliacea and Trichosporon beigelii for their ability to inhibit growth of Pseudomonas syringae pv phaseolicola. The bacteria and fungi were co-inoculated on an artificial leaf surface under conditions of low and high water availability. Under conditions of excess moisture, antibiotic production gave no advantage to the Aureobasidium isolates, and all the yeasts were equally antagonistic. Under drier conditions the Aureobasidium isolates reduced the population of P. syringae by 96–99%, a result which was significantly different from that which occurred when the bacteria were co-inoculated with the other yeasts under these conditions. An antibacterial compound, similar to that produced in liquid culture by Aureobasidium, was detected in washings from the artificial leaf surface following growth of this species.