Recent advances in long-read sequencing technologies led to rapid progress in centromere assembly in the last year and, for the first time, opened a possibility to address the long-standing questions about the architecture and evolution of human centromeres. However, since these advances have not been yet accompanied by the development of the centromere-specific bioinformatics algorithms, even the fundamental questions (e.g. centromere annotation by deriving the complete set of human monomers and high-order repeats), let alone more complex questions (e.g. explaining how monomers and high-order repeats evolved) about human centromeres remain open. Moreover, even though there was a four-decade-long series of studies aimed at cataloging all human monomers and high-order repeats, the rigorous algorithmic definitions of these concepts are still lacking. Thus, the development of a centromere annotation tool is a prerequisite for follow-up personalized biomedical studies of centromeres across the human population and evolutionary studies of centromeres across various species.


We describe the CentromereArchitect, the first tool for the centromere annotation in a newly sequenced genome, apply it to the recently generated complete assembly of a human genome by the Telomere-to-Telomere consortium, generate the complete set of human monomers and high-order repeats for ‘live’ centromeres, and reveal a vast set of hybrid monomers that may represent the focal points of centromere evolution.

Availability and implementation

CentromereArchitect is publicly available on

Supplementary information

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.