characterization of different strains of common carp (cyprinus carpio l.) using molecular markers is essential for the management of this fish in respect to the evaluation of the potential genetic effects induced by hatchery operations and the genetic improvement of carp varieties. five microsatellite loci (mfw1, mfw2, mfw11, mfw15 and mfw20) were analyzed for the molecular characterization of four common carp strains, i.e. scaled carp, mirror carp, red carp and koi carp. we observed differences in heterozygosities and the average numbers of alleles but not in polymorphic loci (p95) among the strains. koi carp displayed the highest level of variability in terms of heterozygosity. the nm values and the fst values indicated a low level of gene flow and high level of differentiation among the strains. the highest genetic distance was observed between the scaled carp and the koi carp whilst the lowest genetic distance was found between the red- and koi carp. the unweighted pair group method with averages (upgma) dendrogram resulted in two clusters, one containing only the scaled carp and the other the remaining three varieties. microsatellite markers have been found to be effective tools for characterization of different strains of common carp.