BACKGROUND Plectasin might serve as a substitute for traditional antibiotics, but its yields and antimicrobial activities warrant further investigation. OBJECTIVE To identify the influence of inducible versus constitutive expression of plectasin on yields and antimicrobial activities. METHODS Through SOE-PCR, a recombinant plectasin gene was generated and inserted into inducible (pPICZαA) and constitutive (pGAPZαA) vectors in order to create Pichia pastoris GS115 strains. After 120 h of fermentation, supernatants were purified by an AKTA purifier using nickel columns. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and inhibition zone assays were performed after Tricine-SDS-PAGE. RESULTS After 120 h of fermentation, the yield of constitutive plectasin (370 μg/ml) was much lower than that from inducible vector (880 μg/ml) (P < 0.05). However, constitutive strain reached its plateau phase faster and keep more consistent yield (P < 0.05). The MICs of inducible plectasin against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) 15471118, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus feces (VREF), and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumonia (PRSP) 31355 were 64, 32, and 64 μg/ml, respectively, while those of constitutive plectasin were 4, 4, and 16 μg/ml. No significant differences were observed in antimicrobial activities between inducible and constitutive plectasin for MRSA 15471118, VREF and PRSP 31355 (all P ＞ 0.05). However, constitutive plectasin had a larger inhibition zone than inducible plectasin with the same mass. CONCLUSIONS Although P. pastoris GS115 (pGAPZαA-Plectasin-GS115) had lower expression than P. pastoris GS115 (pPICZαA-plectasin-GS115), it reached the plateau phase faster, had steadier yields and showed superiority in antimicrobial activities. Therefore, pGAPZαA might be more suitable for expression of plectasin in GS115 compared with pPICZαA.