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.




Sneak preview for SILVA release 123

First statistics about SILVA release 123. Release is expected in July 2015.


The "All Species Living Tree" version 121 released

The new version of the "All Species Living Tree" based on SILVA release 121 has been released.


SILVA SSU 119.1 released

The SILVA SSU taxonomy of release 119 has been updated and is now available as 119.1 in our download section.


SILVA 122 released as a web release

The SILVA webpage has been updated to represent the sequences of EMBL-EBI/ENA release 122.

SILVA SSU 119.1 / LSU 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

Differences between releases SSU 119 and 119.1

SILVA SSU 119.1 is an update of the SSU 119 full release that provides corrections to the SILVA SSU taxonomy. The sequence data have not been changed. Updated ARB, FASTA, RAST and taxonomy files are provided in the Opens external link in new windowdownload section. The changes in the taxonomy can be found Initiates file downloadhere.

The LSU 119 datasets have not been updated, therefore, the LSU 119 files are still provided. 

SILVA 122 - web release (Ref datasets and ARB files not updated)

  SSU Parc LSU Parc
Release date 13.04.2015   13.04.2015
Aligned rRNA sequences  4,851,777   530,848

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