Pelodiscus sinensis is a common freshwater soft-shell turtle found in China, and is an important aquaculture species. In this study, 20 polymorphic microsatellite primers were developed from the transcriptome. The genetic diversity of three populations of P. sinensis was evaluated, using 72 individuals. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 26. The observed and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.208 to 0.958, and from 0.302 to 0.963, respectively. The polymorphic information content varied from 0.283 to 0.953.