Centromere usually contains high-copy-number retrotransposons and satellite repeats, which are difficult to map, clone and sequence. Currently, very little is known about the centromere in cotton. Here, we sequenced a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) mapping to the centromeric region and predicted four long-terminal-repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. They were located in the heterochromatic centromeric regions of all 52 pachytene chromosomes in Gossypium hirsutum. Fiber-FISH mapping revealed that these retrotransposons span an area of at least 1.8Mb in the centromeric region. Comparative analysis showed that these retrotransposons generated similar, strong fluorescent signals in the D progenitor Gossypium raimondii but not in the A progenitor Gossypium herbaceum, suggesting that the centromere sequence of tetraploid cotton might be derived from the D progenitor. Centromeric regions were anchored on 13 chromosomes of D-genome sequence. Characterization of these centromere-related repeats and regions will enhance cotton centromere mapping, sequencing and evolutionary studies.