Welcome to the SILVA rRNA database project

A comprehensive on-line resource for quality checked and aligned ribosomal RNA sequence data.

SILVA provides comprehensive, quality checked and regularly updated datasets of aligned small (16S/18S, SSU) and large subunit (23S/28S, LSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences for all three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya).

SILVA are the official databases of the software package ARB.

For more background information Opens internal link in current windowClick here


Check out our new service for Next Generation Amplicon data


The software package ARB represents a graphically-oriented, fully-integrated package of cooperating software tools for handling and analysis of sequence information.

The ARB project has been started more than 15 years ago by Wolfgang Ludwig at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, see Opens external link in new window

The data portal

Visit our partner site, the data portal for Marine Ecological Genomix, to get a feeling how your research can be improved using integrated databases.


Quast C, Pruesse E, Yilmaz P, Gerken J, Schweer T, Yarza P, Peplies J, Glöckner FO (2013) The SILVA ribosomal RNA gene database project: improved data processing and web-based tools. Opens external link in new windowNucl. Acids Res. 41 (D1): D590-D596.

If you use SINA please cite:

Pruesse, E, Peplies, J and Glöckner, FO (2012) SINA: accurate high-throughput multiple sequence alignment of ribosomal RNA genes. Opens external link in new windowBioinformatics, 28, 1823-1829

Opens internal link in current windowFurther references

SILVA Terms of Use/License Information

SILVA uses a dual licensing model. In short, browsing and deploying the SILVA database content displayed on the SILVA webportal is free for all (academic and non-academic users) whereas all downloads are only free for academic users. Both, academic and non-academic users should have a look at the SILVA Terms of Use/License Information for more details.

SILVA RSS Feed + ARB & SILVA User Group


Please visit our partners. They facilitate the SILVA  database project.




Mistaken Identities

SILVA Researchers are working to automate the arduous task of identifying—and amending—mislabeled sequences in genetic databases.


Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

The SILVA Team wishes you a Merry Christmas 2014 and a Happy New Year 2015.


SILVA 121 released as a web release

The SILVA webpage has been updated to represent the sequences of EMBL-EBI/ENA release 121.


The "All Species Living Tree" version 119 released

The new version of the "All Species Living Tree" based on SILVA release 119 has been released.

SILVA 119 - full release

      SSU Parc SSU Ref SSU Ref NR LSU Parc LSU Ref
Minimal length     300 1200/900 1200/900 300 1900
Quality filtering     basic strong strong basic strong
Guide Tree     no no yes no yes
Release date     24.07.14 24.07.14 24.07.14 24.07.14 24.07.14
Aligned rRNA sequences     4,346,367 1,583,868 534,968 446,998 57,546

SILVA 121 - web release (Ref datasets and ARB files not updated)

  SSU Parc LSU Parc
Release date 16.12.2014   16.12.2014
Aligned rRNA sequences  4,719,540   508,256

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