Using media with low water activity, a large numbers of aureobasidium-like black yeasts were isolated from glacial and subglacial ice of three polythermal glaciers from the coastal Arctic environment of Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Spitsbergen), as well as from adjacent sea water, sea ice and glacial meltwaters. To characterise the genetic variability of Aureobasidium pullulans strains originating from the Arctic and strains originating pan-globally, a multilocus molecular analysis was performed, through rDNA (internal transcribed spacers, partial 28 S rDNA), and partial introns and exons of genes encoding β-tubulin (TUB), translation elongation factor (EF1α) and elongase (ELO). Two globally ubiquitous varieties were distinguished: var. pullulans, occurring particularly in slightly osmotic substrates and in the phyllosphere; and var. melanogenum, mainly isolated from watery habitats. Both varieties were commonly isolated from the sampled Arctic habitats. However, some aureobasidium-like strains from subglacial ice from three different glaciers in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Spitsbergen), appeared to represent a new variety of A. pullulans. A strain from dolomitic marble in Namibia was found to belong to yet another variety. No molecular support has as yet been found for the previously described var. aubasidani. A partial elongase-encoding gene was successfully used as a phylogenetic marker at the (infra-)specific level.