A collaborative Brassica rapa genome sequencing project is currently in progress to aid the identification of agronomically important traits in Brassica species. As an initial stage, the ends of over 110 000 bacterial artificial chromosome clones were sequenced and mined for simple sequence repeats (SSRs). We present the characterization of 40 of these SSRs and their application in Brassica napus. The markers were screened against six Brassica species and Arabidopsis, and demonstrated reliable amplification, genome specificity, cross-amplification and significant polymorphism. These SSRs will be useful for genetic analysis of Brassica germplasm.