The aim of the present study was to characterize lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains isolated from traditional fermented gilaburu fruit juice and their probiotic potential. The LAB counts of the fermented gilaburu fruit juice were in the range of 3.92-830 log cfu/g. Total of 332 isolates belonging to Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc species were characterized from traditional fermented gilaburu juice by genotypic methods. It was also determined that the major LAB strains belong to Lactobacillus plantarum (173 isolates), Lactobacillus casei (52 isolates) and Lactobacillus brevis (24 isolates), while Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus parabuchneri, Lactobacillus pantheris, Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides and Lactobacillus harbinensis were the least in isolated LAB strains. In terms of the probiotic potentials, Lb. plantarum strains were able to grow at pH 2.5, but 3 of Lb. casei strains, one of each Lb. brevis and Lb. buchneri strains could not grow at the same pH. All selected LAB stains were resistant to bile salt at <= 0.3% concentration. While all the LAB species grew at 15 degrees C, two Lactobacillus hordei strains could also grow at 45 degrees C. The highest cell hydrophobicity degrees were for Lb. casei (G20a) and Lb. plantarum (G19e) as 87.5 and 86.0%, respectively. Listeria monocytogenes and Bacillus cereus were the most sensitive bacteria against the selected LAB strains, while Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were the most resistant. Again all the isolated LAB species were resistant to three antibiotics; kanamycin, streptomycin and vancomycin. Characterization and probiotic potentials of the LAB isolated from fermented gilaburu (Viburnum opulus) juice were studied first time, and further research needs to be done on their behaviors in similar food formulations as a probiotic. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.