Solanum tuberosum L. DNA sequences containing simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs were extracted from the EMBL database, cDNA and selectively enriched small-insert DNA libraries. Enrichment was achieved using either triplex affinity capture or single-strand hybridisation selection. One hundred and twelve primer pairs which successfully amplified products of the correct size from potato DNA were ultimately designed and synthesised. Ninety-eight of these revealed length polymorphisms in a panel of four diploid and two tetraploid clones, in agreement with the high information content of this class of markers which has been found in other species. All of the markers were assigned a quality score of 1-5 based on their potential usefulness. Eighty-nine loci from 65 of the primer pairs were located on two genetic linkage maps of potato by segregation analysis of the amplified alleles. Fifty-two of the SSRs were clearly single locus. The maps were aligned using 23 SSR primer pairs and 13 RFLP loci mapped in both populations. The markers described constitute a class which should replace Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP) as the markers of choice for future genetic studies in potato. The sequences of the primers, together with other information on these markers are provided.