simple sequence repeats (ssr) are molecular markers suitable to assess the genetic variation of germplasm resources; however, large-scale ssr use requires protocol optimization. the present work aimed to identify ssr markers, developed for pear and other fruit species that are effective in characterizing pear germplasm collections and in demonstrating their use in providing support for genetic breeding programs. from a total of 62 ssr markers investigated, 23 yielding reproducible and polymorphic patterns were used to genotype a sample of 42 pear accessions of the brazilian pear germplasm bank (pgb). when compared to these 23 ssr markers, a subset of eleven markers, selected based on he, pic and pid, was used to distinguish individual accessions and perform cluster analysis with similar efficacy. genetic diversity analysis clustered the european, japanese and chinese accessions in distinct groups. this markers subset constitutes a valuable tool for several applications related to pear genetic resources management and breeding.