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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


SILVAngs logo

Check out our service for Next Generation Amplicon data

SILVA Alignment, Classification and Tree (ACT) Service

SILVA logo

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.


QR code

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



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.


SILVAngs updated to SILVA r138.1

We have updated our amplicon analysis pipeline SILVAngs to SILVA release 138.1.


SILVA 138.1 released

SILVA 138.1 is an update of the SSU 138 full release providing corrections to the SILVA SSU taxonomy as well as updating the LSU sequence data and taxonomy to match the SSU release.
SILVAngs will be updated to 138.1 early next week.

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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