The causative organism of crown rust in ryegrasses (Puccinia coronata f.sp. lolii) is an obligate biotroph that causes significant economic losses within the temperate grazing industries of dairy, meat, and wool production. This study reports on the development, transferability, and utility of gene-associated simple sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers for crown rust. Analysis of 1100 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences from a urediniospore-derived cDNA library detected 55 SSR loci. The majority of EST-SSR arrays contained perfect trinucleotide repeats with consistently low repeat numbers, and the motifs (ACC)n and (CAT)n were most commonly represented. DNA extraction from single pustules, in conjunction with multiple displacement amplification, provided the basis for PCR-based screening to evaluate genetic marker performance. An example of the identification of intraspecific genetic diversity was obtained from the analysis of 16 P. coronata isolates originating from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. A subset of 12 robust EST-SSR markers was informative for determination of pathogen diversity within and between these localities. It was also demonstrated that crown rust EST-SSR markers were capable of cross-amplification in closely related fungal taxa (Puccinia spp.) and filamentous fungi within the Ascomycota.