Although Tail-family sequences are present in the subtelomeric region of Leymus racemosus, it became apparent in the present study that such sequences are also present in the centromeric region of common wheat (Triticum aestivum). These sequences hybridized to all chromosomes with various degrees of signal strength. FISH using Tail and Ty3/gypsy, a conservative sequence in cereal centromeres, revealed a complicated arrangement of both sequences in all wheat chromosomes at once. Unlike the Arabidopsis centromeres characterized by massive tandem arrays of 180-bp family with flanking paracentromeric retrotransposons in all chromosomes, wheat chromosomes showed various arrangement patterns of Tail and Ty3/gypsy sequences depending on the chromosome; Tail-family sequences were scattered in many wheat centromeres as isolated colonies instead of forming uninterrupted solid tandem arrays. This pattern may have resulted from retrotransposon insertion within pre-existing Tail-tandem arrays or a two-step amplification mechanism of the Tail family where each Tail colony was amplified to form arrays independently after the insertion of Tail-family sequences along the entire centromere. Although sequence analysis of centromeric Tail repeats in wheat and subtelomeric Tail repeats in L. racemosus showed variable and conservative regions between the two repeats, they did not show a distinctive difference phylogenically. The widespread presence of tandem repetitive sequences in the eucaryotic centromere suggests a significant role for them in centromeric formation.