In the latest hg38 human genome assembly, centromeric gaps has been filled in by alpha satellite (AS) reference models (RMs) which are statistical representations of homogeneous higher-order repeat (HOR) arrays that make up the bulk of the centromeric regions. We analyzed these models to compose an atlas of human AS HORs where each monomer of a HOR was represented by a number of its polymorphic sequence variants. We combined these data and HMMER sequence analysis platform to annotate AS HORs in the assembly. This led to discovery of a new type of low copy number highly divergent HORs which were not represented by RMs. These were included in the dataset. The annotation can be viewed as UCSC Genome Browser custom track (the HOR-track) and used together with our previous annotation of AS suprachromosomal families (SFs) in the same assembly, where each AS monomer can be viewed in its genomic context together with its classification into one of the 5 major SFs (the SF-track). To catalog the diversity of AS HORs in the human genome we introduced a new naming system. Each HOR received a name which showed its SF, chromosomal location and index number. Here we present the first installment of the HOR-track covering only the 17 HORs that belong to SF1 which forms live functional centromeres in chromosomes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 16 and 19 and also a large number of minor dead HOR domains, both homogeneous and divergent. Monomer-by-monomer HOR annotation used for this dataset as opposed to annotation of whole HOR repeats provides for mapping and quantification of various structural variants of AS HORs which can be used to collect data on inter-individual polymorphism of AS.
Keywords: Alpha satellite; Centromeres; Higher-order repeats; Suprachromosomal families; hg38 human genome assembly.