The yeast Metschnikowia fructicola was tested as a preharvest treatment to control preharvest and postharvest rots of strawberry fruit in Turkey and Israel. In greenhouse trials, the efficacy of the yeast antagonist against preharvest rots was equal to that of a chemical control (fenhexamid) in two growing seasons. In an open-field experiment, the yeast reduced the incidence of rot to commercially acceptable levels. M. fructicola reduced the incidence of fruit rot by 56-69% in greenhouses, open-field culture, and in low plastic tunnels. The yeast suppressed postharvest incidence of fruit rot significantly better than fenhexamid. Among fruit from greenhouses, open-field culture, or tunnels, M. fructicola treatment reduced the incidence of fruit rot during postharvest storage by 70, 64, and 72%, respectively. When applied weekly in the greenhouse or in the field, the population density of M. fructicola was about 1 x 10(5) cfu/fruit. Similar population density of the antagonist was also observed during storage of the fruit at 0degreesC.