The genetic structure of phytoplankton populations is largely unknown. In this study we developed nine polymorphic microsatellite markers for the domoic acid–producing marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries (Hasle) Hasle. We then used them in the genotyping of 25 physiologically diverse field isolates and six of their descendants: 22 field isolates originated from eastern Canadian waters, two from European waters, and one from Russian waters. The numbers of alleles per locus ranged from three to seven and the observed heterozygosities from 0.39 to 0.70. A substantial degree of genetic variation was observed within the field isolates, with 23 different genotypes detected. The Russian isolate was the most genetically distinct, although there was also evidence of genetic differentiation at a more local scale. Mating experiments demonstrated that alleles were inherited in a Mendelian manner. Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries primer pairs were tested on DNA from four congeners: P. calliantha Lundholm, Moestrup et Hasle; P. fraudulenta (P. T. Cleve) Hasle; P. pungens (Grunow ex P. T. Cleve) Hasle; and P. seriata (P. T. Cleve) H. Peragallo. Cross-reactivity was only observed in P. pungens. Our results are a first step in understanding the genetic variation present at the Pseudo-nitzschia“species” level and in determining the true biogeographic extent of Pseudo-nitzschia species.