Microsatellites were isolated from a Aegilops tauschii (the D-genome donor of bread wheat) library enriched for various motifs. Primers generated from the flanking region of the microsatellites were used successfully to amplify the corresponding loci in the D genome of bread wheat. Additional amplification sometimes also occurred from the A and B genomes. The majority of the microsatellites contained (GA)(n) and (GT)(n) motifs. GA and GT repeats appeared to be both more abundant in this library and more polymorphic than other types of repeats. The allele number for both types of dinucleotide repeats fitted a Poisson distribution. Deviance analysis showed that GA and GT were more polymorphic than other motifs in bread wheat. Within each motif type (di-, tri- and tetra-nucleotide repeats), repeat number has no influence on polymorphism. The microsatellites were mapped using the Triticum aestivum Courtot x Chinese Spring mapping population. A total of 100 markers was developed on this intraspecific map, mainly on the D genome. For polyploid species, isolation of microsatellites from an ancestral diploid donor seems to be an efficient way of developing markers for the corresponding genome in the polyploid plant.