In this study, genetic diversity among 177 oat (Avena sativa L.) accessions including both white and red oat landraces and 36 commercial cultivars was studied for simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci. Thirty-one genomic and expressed sequence tags (EST)-derived primer pairs were selected according to high polymorphism from an initial 66 SSR batch. Markers revealed a high level of polymorphism, detecting a total of 454 alleles. The average gene diversity for the whole sample was 0.29. Genetic similarity, calculated using the Dice coefficient, was used for cluster analysis, and principal component analysis was also applied. In addition, population structure using a Bayesian clustering approach identified discrete subpopulation based on allele frequency and showed similar clustering of oat genotypes in four groups. Accessions could be classified into four main clusters that clearly separated the commercial cultivars, the red oat landraces and two clusters of white oat landraces. Cultivars showed less diversity than the landraces indicating a reduction of genetic diversity during breeding, whereas white oat landraces showed higher diversity than red ones. The average polymorphic information content of 0.80 for the SSR loci indicated the usefulness of many of the SSR for genotype identification. In particular, two markers, MAMA5 and AM04, with a total of 50 alleles and a high discrimination power (>0.90), were sufficient to discriminate among all commercial cultivars studied highlighting their potential use for variety identification.