The centromere as a kinetochore assembly site is fundamental to the partitioning of genetic material during cell division. In order to determine the functional centromeres of soybean, we characterized the soybean centromere-specific histone H3 (GmCENH3) protein and developed an antibody against the N-terminal end. Using this antibody, we cloned centromere-associated DNA sequences by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Our analyses indicate that soybean centromeres are composed of two distinct satellite repeats (GmCent-1 and GmCent-4) and retrotransposon-related sequences (GmCR). The possible allopolyploid origin of the soybean genome is discussed in view of the centromeric satellite sequences present.