among the five cultivated species of pumpkins, cucurbita pepo has the highest variability for fruit characteristics, such as color, shape and size. the active germplasm bank of cucurbitaceae from embrapa clima temperado (brazil) has 61 accessions of this species, all of them landraces grown in southern brazil. these landraces are part of regional culture, in gastronomy (preparation of traditional dishes) for crafts and ornaments. the aim of this study was to evaluate genetic variability within and among landraces of c. pepo cultivated in rio grande do sul state, by microsatellite markers. ten accessions of c. pepo landraces with different shapes and sizes of fruit, and colors and textures of fruit skin were evaluated. genomic dna was extracted individually from five plants of each accession. forty microsatellite loci were analyzed, and 34 amplified. in total 100 alleles were found (one to five alleles per locus). from the analysed loci, 85.3% were polymorphic, showing the presence of genetic variability among the accessions. the analysis of molecular variance showed that 45.39% of genetic variability is attributed to differences within accessions, and 54.60% is attributable to variation among accessions. thus, despite the presence of genetic variability within accessions, the largest proportion of variability in c. pepo is distributed among the accessions. the genetic variability found within accessions can be due to the allogamy, the exchange of landraces seeds between the farmers and also by cultivation of more than one cucurbita landrace in the same area.