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 the content of the SILVA webportal (including results of the data analysis services) and deploying this information is free for all users but Downloads are only free for ACADEMIC users (redistribution of these downloads or their derivates requires a reference to the SILVA license terms). NON-ACADEMIC users please contact us for utilisation of any downloads. More details at SILVA Terms of Use/License Information

SILVA RSS Feed + ARB & SILVA User Group


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




SILVA receives financial support by BMBF

Since March 1st SILVA receives funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the German Network of Bioinformatic Infrastructure for the next three years.


SILVAngs > 1000 registered users

As of today we have 1001 registered users in SILVAngs. Thanks to all of you for your trust and in helping us improving the system. See you again. The SILVA Team


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 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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