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07.03.2022 17:02 Age: 2 yrs

Update on SILVA taxonomy

This news provides an overview on the latest developments regrading the SILVA project and its taxonomy.

Since its inception in 2007, the SILVA project has gathered a large and ever growing user base. The SILVA team is aware of the responsibility that comes with this trust and is thankful for it. The high quality of SILVA's output requires the continuous maintenance and improvement of the technical systems and data products along with the development of further services. Such maintenance-focussed tasks are unfortunately not compatible with traditional project-based public funding, and require permanent, infrastructure investment. For sustainability SILVA initiated a transition phase by joining the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure (de.NBI) in 2015. Furthermore, SILVA was recognised as an ELIXIR (EU) Core Data Ressource. Over the last two years, SILVA has received positive signs to become a permanently funded infrastructure.


Between the releases 132 and the current release 138, the SILVA project transitioned scientifically and underwent shifts in its taxonomic curator team. Since the release 132, two years of advances in taxonomy have been integrated, thanks to a significant alignment with the Genome Taxonomy Database (GTDB) taxonomy, particularly on the higher taxonomic ranks of order and above. This decision was agreed upon, following discussions between Bergey's Manual Trust, GTDB, and SILVA at the BISMiS Meeting 2016 in India and the ISME 2018 in Leipzig. Considering the positive - though non linear - progress brought about by GTDB, SILVA still fosters this cooperation. SILVA's most recent taxonomic work has focused on the maintenance of the resource, including the rectification of reported errors and the incorporation of changes coming from external taxonomy resources. For more details, please check the Opens internal link in current windowSILVA taxonomy documentation.


The SILVA project is dedicated to investigate concepts and structures to increase the efficiency of the often laborious taxonomic curation process, while staying in sync with the taxonomic opinions of its partners. Once more the SILVA team thanks all SILVA users for their trust, patience and commitment.