The application of simple sequence repeat (SSR) genotyping for the characterization of genetic variation in crop plants has been hindered by ready access to useful primer pairs and potentially limited conservation of the repeat sequences among related species. In this phase of work, we report on the identification and characterization of SSRs that are conserved in Brassica napus L. (rapeseed) and its putative progenitors, B. oleracea L. (cabbage, and related vegetable types) and B. rapa (vegetable and oil types). Approximately 140 clones from a size-fractionated genomic library of B. napus were sequenced, and primer pairs were designed for 21 dinucleotide SSRs. Seventeen primer pairs amplified products in the three species and, among these, 13 detected variation between and within species. Unlike findings on SSR information content in human, no relationship could be established between the number of tandem repeats within the target sequence and heterozygosity. All primer pairs have been designed to work under identical amplification conditions; therefore, single-reaction, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with these SSRs is possible. Once moderate numbers of primer pairs are accessible to the user community, SSR genotyping may provide a useful method for the characterization, conservation, and utilization of agricultural crop diversity.