There is no available data published related to the dissemination of bacterial canker caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) and its genetic diversity in Turkey. It is important to control new introduced inoculum sources by commercial seeds and seedlings. Pathogens were identified by morphological features and the identity was confirmed by PCR amplification using a specific primer PSA-4, PSA-R in addition to microbiological tests. ISSR markers showing high polymorphism ratios were selected and used to characterize Cmm strains. The collected strains were classified into different groups on the basis of ISSR-PCR fingerprints, which showed remarkable genetic specificity and diversity not previously identified in Cmm, suggesting that genetic differences are related to dissemination of the pathogen in the region. This is the first ever study carried out on the characterization of Cmm using ISSR. The selected ISSR primers to characterize Cmm can be used to determine genetic differences in further studies. Crown Copyright (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.