Abstract Microsatellites or Single Sequence Repeats (SSRs) are extensively employed in plant genetics studies, using both low and high throughput genotyping approaches. Motivated by the importance of these sequences over the last decades this review aims to address some theoretical aspects of SSRs, including definition, characterization and biological function. The methodologies for the development of SSR loci, genotyping and their applications as molecular markers are also reviewed. Finally, two data surveys are presented. The first was conducted using the main database of Web of Science, prospecting for articles published over the period from 2010 to 2015, resulting in approximately 930 records. The second survey was focused on papers that aimed at SSR marker development, published in the American Journal of Botany's Primer Notes and Protocols in Plant Sciences (over 2013 up to 2015), resulting in a total of 87 publications. This scenario confirms the current relevance of SSRs and indicates their continuous utilization in plant science.