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


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.

SILVA Terms of Use/License Information

SILVA uses a dual licensing model. In short, browsing and deploying the SILVA database content displayed on the SILVA webportal is free for all (academic and non-academic users) whereas all downloads are only free for academic users. Both, academic and non-academic users should have a look at the SILVA Terms of Use/License Information for more details.


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 RSS Feed + ARB & SILVA User Group



Thank You for 2000 Citations

The SILVA team says THANK YOU for citing us over 2000 times. We are honoured by your trust and motivated to make SILVA the best resource for rRNAs ever.


Sneak preview on SILVA release 119

First statistics about SILVA release 119.


Preparation of SILVA release 119 has started

SILVA 119 will come as a full release. Preparation has started and we expect the release to be finished in June 2014.


ARB 6 release candidate available

Get it now, put it through its paces and tell us what you think!

SILVA 115 - 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     23.08.13 23.08.13 23.08.13 23.08.13 23.08.13
Aligned rRNA sequences     3,808,884 1,426,414 479,726 361,874 39,412

SILVA 117 - web release (Ref datasets and ARB files not updated)

  SSU Parc LSU Parc
Release date 06.01.2014   06.01.2014
Aligned rRNA sequences  4,058,383   403,810


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