Résumé : Premise of the study: Microsatellites were developed in the vulnerable African rainforest tree Afzelia bipindensis to investigate gene flow patterns. Methods and Results: Using 454 GS-FLX technique, 16 primer sets were identified and optimized, leading to 11 polymorphic and readable markers displaying each six to 25 alleles in a population. Up to four alleles per individual were found in each of the loci, without evidence of fixed heterozygosity, suggesting an autotetraploid genome. Cross-Amplification succeeded for all loci in the African rainforest species A. pachyloba and A. bella , which appeared tetraploid, and for most loci in the African woodland species A. africana and A. quanzensis , which appeared diploid, but failed in the Asian species A. xylocarpa Flow cytometry confirmed the suspected differences in ploidy. Conclusions: African Afzelia species are diploid or tetraploid, a situation rarely documented in tropical trees. These newly developed microsatellites will help in the study of their mating system and gene flow patterns.