Abstract Eleven microsatellite loci were identified and characterized in black currant (R. nigrum cv. Ben Alder) and related species. An enriched library was constructed and screened with simple sequence repeat (SSR) oligonucleotides. Positive clones were sequenced and primers were designed flanking the repeat motifs. These 11 microsatellites produce amplification products polymorphic across a range of Ribes germplasm, predominantly from the Eucoreosma section of the genus. The number of alleles varied from 2 to 18 with levels of diversity ranging from 0.18 to 0.91.