PREMISE OF THE STUDY Stipa breviflora (Poaceae) is one of the dominant species of the desert steppe in the eastern Eurasian grasslands. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were developed for use in genetic diversity studies of this species. METHODS AND RESULTS A total of 1954 potentially polymorphic loci were obtained by comparing transcriptome data of eight different S. breviflora individuals. We selected 81 loci to verify polymorphism and 63 loci amplified, of which 21 loci exhibited polymorphism. The number of alleles per locus varied from two to 24, the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.083 to 0.958, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.396 to 0.738. CONCLUSIONS These newly identified SSR loci can be used for population genetic and landscape genetic studies of S. breviflora. In addition, 14 loci also amplified in six related Stipa species (S. grandis, S. krylovii, S. bungeana, S. aliena, S. gobica, and S. purpurea).