To generate inexpensive and efficient DNA markers for addressing a number of population genetics problems and identification of wild hybrids in Vasconcellea, we have evaluated the use of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers previously developed for other species. A set of 103 Vasconcellea accessions and some individuals of the related genera Carica and Jacaratia were analyzed with 10 primer pairs directing amplification of chloroplast microsatellites in Nicotiana tabacum and 9 nuclear SSR primer pairs recently identified in Vasconcellea x heilbornii. Heterologous amplification of chloroplast SSRs was successful for 8 of the 10 loci, of which 6 showed polymorphism. Seven of the 9 nuclear SSR primer pairs were useful in Vasconcellea and often also in Jacaratia and Carica, all revealing polymorphism. Exclusive haplotypes for each described taxon were identified based on chloroplast microsatellite data. Clustering based on separate nuclear and chloroplast data resulted in a clear grouping per taxon, but only low resolution was obtained above species level. The codominancy of nuclear SSRs and the general high polymorphism rate of SSR markers will make them more useful in future population genetics studies and diversity assessment in conservation programs.