RAPD, ISSR and AFLP markers were used to fingerprint and to examine genetic diversity among twelve genotypes of the gooseberry (Ribes grossularia subgenus Grossularia). AFLP generated unique profiles for each genotype. ISSR could not distinguish three of the genotypes, 'Whinham's Industry' 'Whitesmith' and 'Leveller', whereas RAPD could not distinguish 'Whinham's Industry' and 'Leveller'. Similarity matrices and dendrograms illustrated the genetic similarities between the different genotypes but some clustering varied, depending on which marker type was being used. The results imply that the European cultivated gooseberry has a narrow genetic base and that further improvement to this crop species may require the introduction of additional germplasm into breeding programmes.