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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


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Check out our service for Next Generation Amplicon data

SILVA Alignment, Classification and Tree (ACT) Service

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The SILVA ACT service combines alignment, search and classify as well as reconstruction of trees in a single web application.

SILVA ACT is available at: Opens internal link in current

SILVA Tree Viewer

SILVA Tree Viewer

The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application to browse and query the SILVA guide trees.

A technical preview is available at Opens external link in new


Example phylogenetic tree in radial format.

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



SILVA is a member of the Opens external link in new windowUniEuk project, a community-based project to achieve a universal taxonomic framework for Eukaryotes, focused primarily on protists. UniEuk is integrating information from relevant genetic markers and classical morphology-based data, validated by a comprehensive network of taxonomy experts.


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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.

For the taxonomic framework:

Yilmaz P, Parfrey LW, Yarza P, Gerken J, Pruesse E, Quast C, Schweer T, Peplies J, Ludwig W, Glöckner FO (2014) The SILVA and "All-species Living Tree Project (LTP)" taxonomic frameworks. Opens external link in new windowNucl. Acids Res. 42:D643-D648

Opens internal link in current windowFurther references

SILVA Terms of Use/License Information

As of release 138 the SILVA databases, its taxonomy, and all files provided for download are licensed unter Opens external link in new windowCreate Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0).

All data is freely available for academic and commercial use as long as SILVA is credited as original author and a link to the full license is provided.

Releases before SILVA 138 are not affected by the new license. Please refer to the license file provided in each download directory for the license associated with the provided files.


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


SILVA RSS Feed + ARB & SILVA User Group



Bidding farewell to 'The All-Species Living Tree' project

For the last 12 years, SILVA has been hosting 'The All-Species Living Tree' project (LTP). With their newest release (LTP_2020), the LTP team has decided to host the project on their own website. The SILVA team will continue to integrate the LTP taxonomy and classifications into the SILVA releases. We wish the LTP team all the best at their new home.


The 24rd de.NBI Quaterly Newsletter published

ELIXIR-CONVERGE releases the Research Data Management Kit, Women in Data Science – Perspectives in Industry and Academia, Establishment of the ELIXIR Germany Code of Conduct, de.NBI Cloud @ ELIXIR Compute Platform, Towards a de.NBI Plant Bioinformatics Community and much more


The 23rd de.NBI Quaterly Newsletter published

COVID-19 research within de.NBI and ELIXIR Germany, de.NBI Cloud, increasingly deployed for teaching, Implementing FAIR data management within de.NBI, and much more!


Merry Christmans & Healthy New Year 2021

The SILVA Team wishes you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Many thanks for staying with us in these Corona times. Looking forward to see you again in 2021.

User satisfaction survey


SILVA is now part of the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure de.NBI

To evaluate and improve our quality of service we need your feedback. Please help us by participating in this short Opens external link in new windowsurvey.

SILVA SSU 138.1 update release

Ref NR 99
Ref NR 99
Minimal length   300 1200/900 300 1900
Quality filtering   basic strong basic strong
Guide Tree   no yes no yes
Release date   27.08.20 27.08.20 27.08.20 27.08.20
Aligned rRNA sequences   9,469,124 510,508 1,312,534 95,286

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