- From the genome sequence of hazelnut (Corylus avellana), 192 new polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were developed, characterized, and used to investigate genetic diversity in 50 accessions. Next-generation sequencing allows inexpensive sequencing of plant genomes and transcriptomes, and efficient development of polymorphic SSR markers, also known as microsatellite markers, at low cost. A search of the genome sequence of 'Jefferson' hazelnut identified 9094 fragments with long repeat motifs of 4, 5, or 6 base pairs (bp), from which polymorphic SSR markers were developed. The repeat regions in the 'Jefferson' genome were used as references to which genomic sequence reads of seven additional cultivars were aligned in silico. Visual inspection for variation in repeat number among the aligned reads identified 246 as polymorphic, for which primer pairs were designed. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification followed by agarose gel separation indicated polymorphism at 195 loci, for which fluorescent forward primers were used to amplify the DNA of 50 hazelnut accessions. Amplicons were post-PCR multiplexed for capillary electrophoresis, and allele sizes were determined for 50 accessions. After eliminating three, 192 were confirmed as polymorphic, and 169 showed only one or two alleles in each of the 50 cultivars, as expected in a diploid. At these 169 SSRs, a total of 843 alleles were found, for an average of 4.99 and a range of 2 to 17 alleles per locus. The mean observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity, polymorphism information content, and the frequency of null alleles were 0.51, 0.53, 0.47, and 0.03, respectively. An additional 25 primer pairs produced more than two bands in some accessions with an average of 6.8 alleles. The UPGMA dendrogram revealed a wide genetic diversity and clustered the 50 accessions according to their geographic origin. Of the new SSRs, 132 loci were placed on the linkage map. These new markers will be useful for diversity and parentage studies, cultivar fingerprinting, marker-assisted selection, and aligning the linkage map with scaffolds of the genome sequence.