Strains of certain plant pathogenic bacteria, in particular several pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae, are known to produce cyclic lipodepsipeptides (LDPs) endowed with peculiar structural features and noticeable biological activities. In this study, a mass spectrometry procedure is proposed for screening LDP-producing bacterial strains and for identifying and assessing individual LDPs. After matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) screening of thirteen P. syringae strains for LDP production, the extracts from culture filtrates of eight positive strains were subjected to electrospray mass spectrometry for the identification of LDPs. Five strains were found to produce two forms of syringomycins (SR-E and SR-G) and two forms of syringopeptin 25 (SP25A and SP25B), two strains produced SR-E, SR-G and a new form of SP22; one strain produced syringotoxin (ST) and syringostatin A (SS-A) in addition to SP25A and SP25B. The yield in culture of two major LPDs: SR-G (3.2-13.8 mg L-1) and SP25A (41.6-231.5 mg L-1) was assessed by and high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS) in both scan and single ion monitoring (SIM) modes. Results of this investigation showed that the mass spectrometry protocol developed here is a precise and reliable method for screening bacterial strains for LDP production and for assessing the amount of each metabolite under various culture conditions. This could be of practical value in view of potential applications, e.g. biocontrol of post-harvest fungal diseases.