A set of 11 polymorphic markers (1 cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS), 2 sequence-characterized amplified regions (SCARs), and 8 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-derived markers) was obtained for olive cultivar identification by comparing DNA sequences from different accessions. Marker development was more efficient, using sequences from the database rather than cloning arbitrary DNA fragments. Analyses of the sequences of 3 genes from 11 diverse cultivars revealed an SNP frequency of 1 per 190 base pairs in exons and 1 per 149 base pairs in introns. Most mutations were silent or had little perceptible effect on the polypeptide encoded. The higher incidence of transversions (55%) suggests that methylation is not the major driving force for DNA base changes. Evidence of linkage disequilibrium in 2 pairs of markers has been detected. The set of predominantly SNP-based markers was used to genotype 65 olive samples obtained from Europe and Australia, and was able clearly to discriminate 77% of the cultivars. Samples, putatively of the same cultivar but derived from different sources, were revealed as identical, demonstrating the utility of these markers as tools for resolving nomenclature issues. Genotyping data were used for constructing a dendrogram by UPGMA cluster analysis using the simple matching similarity coefficient. Relationships between cultivars are discussed in relation to the route of olive's spread.